Tomlinson’s fitting tribute

By Jonny Turner

A cool and calm drive from Kerryn Tomlinson helped her pay tribute to her late great-grandmother when Miss Crazed produced a brilliant effort to win at Ascot Park yesterday.

Tomlinson wore a black armband during yesterday’s meeting in memory on her great grandmother, Shirley Stokes, who died in Canterbury on Tuesday.

Stokes is the mother of Dianne Ford, wife of Canterbury trainer Ken Ford.

Stokes was a big supporter of her great grandchildren - Tomlinson and her sister, Sheree.

Tomlinson was eager to pay tribute to her great grandmother when driving for the first time since her passing at yesterday’s meeting.

“She was a massive supporter of ours,” the junior driver said.

“She followed all of the races and she would always watch Sheree and I on TV.”

“She would yell at the TV and cheer us on.”

“Her sons own a lot of granddad’s horses, too.”

Miss Crazed looked to be building nicely towards delivering Tomlinson and her family a special win until she galloped 1500m from home in yesterday’s 2700m event.

“She started hanging around the bend and she hit her knee,” Tomlinson said.

“She is still green and she has still got a bit to learn.”

The break cost the mare about eight lengths and set her a big task to get up and win with a lap to go.

The four-year-old’s assignment got even bigger when she drifted further off the lead at the 800m when the leader King Of The North skipped four lengths clear of the field.

Tomlinson worked Miss Crazed back into the race at the 400m and she safely negotiated the same bend she galloped on earlier.

With three lengths to make up on King Of The North on the home turn, the junior driver was hopeful, rather than confident she could pull off a special win.

“I was really hoping she would get there,” Tomlinson said.

“She just kept coming, it was a good effort.”

Tomlinson and her sister will again seek to honour their late great grandmother at Motukarara on Sunday.

Ken Ford lines up four horses at the Akaroa Trotting Club meeting and his family shares in the ownership of each of them.

Kerryn drives Mordecai (race 3) and That’s The Story (race 10).

Sheree will drive Uno Mia (race 3) and Hope For Love (race 5).

Miss Crazed’s win completed a double for trainer Phil Williamson, who prepared first starter Celebration Stride to win race 1.

Miss Crazed’s victory followed another standout performance – Kagee VC’s epic effort to win race 2.

The seven-year-old saved the best performance of his career for his 80th start when sitting parked for the entirety of his 2200m assignment in very blustery conditions.

Trainer Doug McLachlan admitted he did not see the powerful staying effort coming.

McLachlan is Kagee VC’s fifth trainer and he came to his Myross Bush stable with a reputation for being highly strung.

But the longer the pacer has stayed, the better his attitude has got.

McLachlan puts much of the credit down to the work of down to his partner, Sylvie Crighton, who owns Kagee VC.

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