Ford upbeat as harness racing returns to Addington

By Josh Smith

West Melton trainer Ken Ford, with granddaughter Sheree Tomlinson. Photo: Supplied
West Melton trainer Ken Ford, with granddaughter Sheree Tomlinson. Photo: Supplied
Canterbury trainer Ken Ford is excited about the return of harness racing at Addington today and tomorrow.

But it’s the return of the sport to his living room that he is looking forward to the most.

“It will be good to get back to the races, but what I have missed is sitting down and watching the races on TV. I love that,” said Ford, who lives in West Melton.

“In my stage in life, I am finding that more exciting than actually going to the races.”

Ford said he wasn’t too affected by the Covid-19 enforced lockdown period as he was able to keep the majority of his team ticking over at his property.

“It was good as gold,” he said. “We have got our own track, so we just kept jogging a few.

“We just brought them up quietly again.

“We don’t work many. We usually work 10 and dropped it back to six and we have got them ready to race now.”

Ford will have three stable representatives at Addington. Mordecai will kick off the stable’s season resumption in the Dunstan Remembering Lazarus Mobile Pace (1980m) today.

The nine race card starts at noon, and tomorrow a 12 race card starts at 4.34pm.

“He’s just a battler. He is Kerryn (Tomlinson, junior driver), my granddaughter’s, horse. He is a lovely old horse to have about the place and we use him as a pacemaker.”

Sheree driving their gun trotter Marcoola. Photo: Supplied
Sheree driving their gun trotter Marcoola. Photo: Supplied
Ford has higher hopes on Friday when Justan’s Sister lines-up in the Dunstan Multi-Ultra Trot (2600m) and Zsa Zoe contests the Dunstan Feed Up handicap Trot (2600m).

“Justan’s Sister was going along really well before lockdown,” said Ford.

“She was coming along nicely for that Met Multiplier. She was the biggest disappointment over the lockup because we have lost that now.

“She is going well. We gave her a good hit-out on Sunday at Kypros Kotzikas’ place. We took all the ones ready to race down there. She went really well.”

Zsa Zoe will have her first start since December and is another whose preparation was cut short as a result of Covid-19.

“She kicked out and hit a rail (in December) and she got a bit of swelling. We got a little bit worried about that, so that’s why she had the break,” said Ford.

“She was coming along really nice and then the lockdown came.

“She went as good as any (on Sunday). I am really pleased with her. She has got Cracker Hill in that race so that’s going to be really tough. But she is going really well.”

Meanwhile, Ford has welcomed the return of Group One-winning trotter Marcoola to his barn.

“The last couple of weeks we have been putting him on the jogger and he looks a million dollars,” said Ford.

“But there is nothing for him, so we will bring him up nice and quietly and see how we go.”

A stud career beckons the seven-year-old entire, however, Ford said he and son Clint are having too much fun racing him.

- Harness Racing Desk



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