Day At The Track

John Morrison gets the monkey off his back

05:07 PM 08 Feb 2016 NZDT
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John Morrison - Drove his first winner at Waikouaiti yesterday
John Morrison - Drove his first winner at Waikouaiti yesterday
Motu Speedy Star

Talking to a few of the senior drivers in Canterbury at the start of this season and the name of a young junior driver just starting out cropped up more than once.

John Morrison, son of well known Mid -Canterbury saddler Chris Morrison had created a favouable impression on the senior drivers and by all accounts was seen as a driver of considerable promise.

Starting as a weekend helper at Mike Heenan's establishment when he was an eleven year old, John has been there ever since.

" I still work up at Michaels every weekend and at any time I can get up there from school."

" I am at my last year at school and they have been very accommodating with letting me drive at trials and workouts during school hours," John told Harnesslink today.

John lined up for the first time on raceday at Oamaru on August 2nd on a horse trained by his father Chris called Dreamcoat and almost pulled off a victory at drive number one with a close second after not having much luck in the running.

If anyone had suggested at that point that John would still be winless over 130 starts later they would have been laughed at but that was the situation John found himself in heading to Waikouaiti yesterday.

Come race four and John and Dreamcoat picked up another second placing to add to the other seven second placings John had accumulated in the last six months.

Two races later John took the drive behind the 11 year old Motu Speedy Star and after sitting parked for the last lap, the old timer still had enough in reserve to keep the opposition at bay by a neck and credit John with his first lifetime win.

" I had been unlucky on him at Geraldine when he ran fourth so I decided to take luck out of play yesterday and came out and sat parked with him as he felt great during the running."

" I can't tell you what a relief it is to get that first victory under my belt."

" You start to have a few doubts about how you are driving and it has been weighing on my mind a bit lately," John said.

John was quick to thank Ricky May for all his help over the last six months.

" Ricky has been great offering me advice and showing me things I needed to work on and improve on."

" I can't thank him enough for his help," John said.

When John leaves school at the end of this year, he aims to get work in a stable full time and to continue to learn the art of being a farrier.

" I have been helping out Kerry O"Reilly with shoeing and it is something I am really keen to further my knowledge of."

"It is something I would like to do alongside my driving as I really enjoy both," John said.

John is also pretty confident his second winner won't take as long as his first.

" Several of my regular drives have been knocking on the door like Rico Gold and I think dads trotter Majestic De Fence is slowly getting the ringcraft to go with the ability and won't be that long winning a race either.

At just seventeen years of age John has been through a tough first six months in the driving ranks but the way he has hung in there and come out the other end a winner is testament to a determination to succeed that will take John a long way in harness racing.

Harnesslink Media



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