John Morrison prepares to go racing with Nanelle Franco. The pair scored an upset victory in the Morgan Fencing Pace. Photo Heather MackenzieA couple of former locals had plenty to say on their old home track at Sunday’s Ashburton Trotting Club meeting at the Ashburton Racecourse.
Terry Chmiel claimed the major prize of the day, the Winter Cup, with Secret Bet whom he trains alongside wife Glenys.
The three-year-old gelding defied his limited experience by beating a strong field of pacers in the feature event of the day – winning narrowly from a game Ardent Lustre with Kiwis Are Flying.
While Chmiel claimed the feature of the day, it was Johnny Morrison who set the tempo with a driving double, including a bold display on outsider, Nanelle Franco.
New Zealand’s leading junior driver and now a certainty to win the premiership with only a couple of weeks to go, was in sublime form.
Morrison clicked early in the day with the showy chestnut Only In America for Mike De Filippi after finding the front early and then taking a trail.
The big pacer then unleashed down centre track to register win one for the career with style.
Morrison was back in the action a little later on in the programme when Nanelle Franco found the front in the fillies and mares mobile and never looked back, bolting away for a big win in a very fast time.
“She was a bit keen, so I thought I’d let her roll,” he said.
“She just kept going.
“I had a look over the shoulder at the top of the straight and they were a long way back from us and every time I asked her to find a bit she kept going.
“It was pretty impressive really.”
The double took Morrison to 98 career wins, 61 of them coming this season – enhancing his chances of picking up the milestone of 100 before the season is over.
© The Ashburton Guardian - 15 July 2019