Father and son to combine forces

11:01 AM 14 Jul 2014 NZST
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The 2013 New Zealand Junior Drivers Electric Chapel & Simon Lawson Rob Lawson
Simon Lawson - is joining forces with father Rob
Simon Lawson - is joining forces with father Rob
Rob Lawson

Waikato trainer and administrator Rob Lawson will go into partnership with his son Simon on August 1.

Lawson senior will train out of Newstead in the Waikato while Simon will train a team at Pukekohe.

“We intend on having a boutique stable of perhaps eight or nine horses, but they will all race in my name.

“We could register them in both names but we felt it might jeopardise Simon’s chances of getting more drives,’’ Lawson snr said.

“He’s already driving for top trainers like Ray Green, Steven Reid, and Geoff Small when he can. He’s a naturally talented driver who can send them, and save them, when he has to.’’

He said he would head up to Pukekohe regularly to see how Simon is getting on.

He believed his son had what it took to be a good trainer.

“I’m biased but I know he’s a top driver and I also know he’s been around horses all of his life - so he certainly knows what training is all about.

As well as working for me he’s also worked for Peter Simpson, Steven Reid and Geoff Small. He’s learnt a lot from a lot of people.’’

The Lawsons’ will swap their team around from time to time racing at both Cambridge Raceway and Alexandra Park.

“We will also be looking to entice South Island owners and trainers to send their horses north to us. I’m vice president at Cambridge but I realise the stakes in Auckland are too good to ignore, so it makes sense to race there.

“Even second-placed money at Alexandra Park is nice. Having two stables reinforces our commitment to the industry. I am also going to be the trainers and drivers rep on the harness racing executive – so as you can see the industry means a lot to me and my family.’’

The Nathan Williamson trained The Wonkey Donkey was a recent South Island addition to Lawson’s stable. While in the north the 4-year-old Thanksgiving gelding recorded two seconds and two thirds.

Lawson has trained 41 winners from 362 starters since 1991 and he’s also placed 67 times for $248,278 in stakes.

His best year was last season when he trained eight winners. This year Lawson has won four times from 12 attempts.

Son, Simon on the other hand has had a season in the sulky he will never forget.

He won his first group One race behind the Green trained Besotted at Alexandra Park on May 2.

That was one of 24 winners for him so far this season – 23 fewer than his best season in 2010.

All up Lawson has won 166 of his 1,516 drives. He’s also placed on 322 occasions for $1.3 million in purses.

Not a bad effort considering he only started driving in 2009.

The Lawsons’ currently have Ton Tine going around at the moment.

That son 4-year-old son of Monarchy has won three of his 23 starts

“We’ve also got an exciting young rising 2-year-old named Van Mara. We bought him at the yearling sales and he is quite talented. We have a lot of time for him.’’

By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

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