Chauntel Kentish and Lawrence McCormick celebrate their first training win courtesy of Su El, and Lawrence's 26th birthday at Oamaru yesterday. Photo by Matt Smith
Lawrence McCormick will never forget his 26th birthday - and
neither will partner Chauntel Kentish.
Yesterday, the couple, who train eight horses at Tinwald on
the southern fringes of Ashburton, gained their first
training win when Su El finished best through the middle of
the pack in a 2600m mobile pace for 6yr-old-and-older horses.
Su El has given the new partnership a challenging start,
behaving herself at the trials in December then galloping at
both starts in Westport. Her victory comes at McCormick and
Kentish's 11th attempt at winning a race. McCormick works for
trainer Gavin Smith during the week, and has driving
responsibilities as well. He praised Kentish (22) for her
''She does most of the work with them - she does a really
Kentish's phone was ringing constantly following the win of
Su El, and she was still shaking with excitement several
minutes after the race.
The McCormick name is familiar to harness racing followers,
with Lawrence's grandfather, Doug, one of the stalwarts of
the game over the last 50 years, but Kentish comes from a
The couple gained their public training licence at the start
of the season, and got Su El off
trainer Mike Stevens, who offered them the horse when he
heard they were giving training a go.
McCormick has won 33 times as a driver since gaining his
junior driver's licence in 2007. He also had a stint in
Western Australia in 2009, working and driving for three
months for trainer Andrew De Campo.