Junior reinswoman Michelle Neilson notched up her first winner since shifting across the Tasman yesterday at Rangiora when steering the Regan Todd trained Strata Star to success.
“It seemed to take forever, but I’m stoked to have finally got my first winner in New Zealand,” said Neilson.
Neilson, who shifted to New Zealand around a year and a half ago, drove 40 odd winners while in Australia.
“I worked for Grant (Dixon) and Natalie (Rasmussen) in Brisbane for about three years, before shifting home to New South Wales, where I worked for Michael Formosa.
“Both were great to work for and Michael gave me plenty of driving opportunities,” she added.
Neilson has now had six drives in New Zealand for a win and a second.
“I finished a narrow second on Mr Mach in my first drive in New Zealand but, until yesterday, I hadn’t looked likely since.”
Neilson worked for the powerful Purdon and Rasmussen barn up until a month or so ago, but is now employed by Mark Jones.
However, it was his foreman, Regan Todd, who provided her with her first win on New Zealand soil.
“I am really grateful to Regan for giving me the opportunity,” said Neilson. “He had her trained to the minute,” she added.
Michelle is the sister of more than capable Queensland-based reinsman Matthew Neilson, and girlfriend of Woodend trainer-driver Bob Butt.
“Bob told me to make sure that I told everyone that he was the one who gave me my driving instructions,” she laughed.
All I can say is, it is good thing that she decided to ignore them.
By MItchell Robertson