Zara Power's first win - "such a cool feeling"
By Michael Guerin
Working at the local pub is not the usual pathway to the winner’s circle at Addington but it was a route that worked for junior driver Zara Power, her got her first ever winner at headquarters on Friday night.
Power drove the perfect race to get Greenbank Don home in the maiden trot at only her 11th drive.
She was aided when the leader Noah Magnific galloped at the 150m mark but Power had already done all she could, having got Greenbank Don away from the 2000m standing start point and got him into a nice rhythm on the markers not covering any extra ground before presenting him at the right time.
When the leader galloped, Don did the rest to capture the $11,400 Chevron Quality Cars Trot.
“It was such a thrill,” 21-year-old Power told HRNZ.
“We were going okay but when the leader galloped and we were in front I got pretty excited thinking I might get my first winner at Addington.
“Then I had to get my mind back on the job when Sam (Ottley) started coming down the outside but the last 50m was amazing.
“To get it at Addington is a real thrill and I had some of my friends and family there supporting me which really topped it off.”
Power doesn’t come from a harness racing family but has been a competitive showjumper so has always loved horses.
“I didn’t know much about harness racing until Paul (Kerr, her now boss) asked me if I wanted to try working for him.
“I was working at the Woodend Tavern where Paul drinks and I decided to have a go, started with stable work and graduated to driving the galloping pacemaker and then driving fast work.
“My competitive nature soon kicked in and now I love it.
“Paul has taught me so much and all the drivers I have spoken to have been really good with advice but I think if I keep driving more I’d like to get a senior driver as a mentor.”
As if Addington on a Friday night isn’t the coolest way to get your first win, Power loved the fact it was on Greenbank Don, a horse who Kerr broke in so has spent his whole career at the stable and only Kerr or Power ever drive him.
“It has been a wonderful night and such a cool feeling,” says Power.
Later in the night Lumen Caeli reminded everybody of his enormous ability when he remained unbeaten at his fourth start for the All Stars.