Wilmott in box seat to win amateur title
By Frank Marrion
Blair Wilmott was heading into this weekend’s final three races of the Amateur Driving Championship with a clear plan.
Having established a commanding seven point lead by winning the first two races at Cambridge last week, Wilmott could see he might be struggling with his next two drives in the series, Alexy at Addington and Aveross Ferrari at Rangiora, both having drawn the inside of the second line.
It was likely then that the series would come down to the last event, and in that Wilmott has a plum drive drawn well in Myboylolliepop.
“The plan was to just save ground with Alexy and Aveross Ferrari, hopefully finish midfield and pick up as many points as I could, knowing that I had a great chance of winning the last race and probably the series with Myboylolliepop,” said Wilmott.
That plan changed though when Aveross Ferrari managed to hold the trail and win the heat at Addington on Friday night for Colleen Negus after drawing the pole there.
Having won a race in the series last year at Rangiora for Neil Munro, Aveross Ferrari wasn’t eligible for another penalty-free win and the eight points he copped in the ratings placed him outside the R40-45 conditions of the first event at Rangiora.
“It was a little disappointing to lose that drive, but at least I know I’m guaranteed the eight points for a non-drive and at worse, I’ll probably retain the lead in the series going into the last race.
“I could have been knocked over and got a lot less points, maybe opening the door wider for someone else.”
Having picked up seven points with Alexy, Wilmott now leads the series with 33 points to Warren Rich’s 28 and Colleen Negus’ 25, followed by Alan Edge and Cheree Wigg on 24.
With Wilmott sitting in the stands for the fourth heat, the best his rivals can do is Rich winning the race with Allandale, and joining Wilmott on 41 going into the last event in the series.
Rich has a good drive in that with Immortal Change, who he also drew at Addington and finished second with, while Negus might be battling with Bhaki in the fourth heat and then Gabby’s Star drawn a bit wide.
Myboylolliepop looks the one to beat in the fifth and last heat however, having picked up a penalty-free win last time for Katie Cox in the series for lady drivers at Washdyke after earlier wins this year at Rangiora and Methven.
One could say the eight-year-old has been in career best form this year for trainer Sue Blake and the only time lately where he has failed and not had a reason or an excuse was when finishing 10th at Rangiora two starts ago.
“We spent much of last year battling ulcers and while we thought we were on top of that around Christmas, prior to Rangiora there was an issue with his poo being like projectiles,” said Peter Cook, the amateur driver who races Myboylolliepop with Blake.
“So we’d been a bit easy on him and stopping like he did at Rangiora was right out of character.”
Myboylolliepop has been a good horse for Blake and Cook after they were gifted him a little over a year ago by Kevin and Daphne Kennett.
His three wins and consistency since Christmas has seen Myboylolliepop earn over $24,000 this season.
“I’ve known Kevin and Daphne for 40 years so I’d always followed the horse.
“After he won a race for them at Forbury Park, Murray (trainer Edmonds) figured he was going to struggle in Canterbury so he left him down there with Darryn Simpson.
“Things went a bit pear shaped there though and after Kevin worked him up again, he offered him to us because he didn’t want to pay training fees.
“I said we’d give them some money if he won a race and now he’s won three and not done yet.
“Murray told us at the start he was basically too dumb to stop, and that’s been his forte – when they go hard he just keeps going and they come back to him.”
And that is probably the way things are going to pan out in the last race of the Amateur Driving Championship, a point not lost on Wilmott either.