Roxburgh junior Maruia Parker's first raceday drive will be on Tartan Trilogy in the Interior Girls Of Windsor Mobile Pace at Ascot Park tomorrow.
Parker is a grand-daughter of the late Alan Parker, a Teviot Valley identity who made a huge contribution to the Roxburgh Trotting Club. She works for Geoff and Jude Knight, trainers of Tartan Trilogy and recently finished runner-up behind Rory McIlwrick in the southern leg of the Primary ITO Cadet of the year contest for level four cadets.
Jude Knight said Parker had worked for them for about three and half years and turned down University study for a career in harness racing.
Tartan Trilogy is one of nine the Knights have entered tomorrow and one of three raced, either solely or in partnership, by Onn Chin, a retired General Practitioner from Mosgiel.
Chin has been most supportive of Maruia, Knight said.
A son of Chin's Group I-winning mare Tartan Lady, Tartan Trilogy will race for the first time in more than six weeks. His previous outing on Ascot Park, in April, resulted in a second.
Canasta, in the Congrats on 25 years-Robin Dundee Club Mobile, and Imperial Ace, in the Panspacificflight at Macca Lodge Mobile, are the other Chin representatives.
Knight describes Canasta, who debuts as a 5-year-old, as a big Bettors Delight with a big stride who has gone two nice trials. She said Imperial Ace, drawn one, hadn't raced since winning at Invercargill in June because of a virus. He may need the run but had the talent to go well from that draw, she added.
Two of the Knight representatives line up in the Rogersons Footwear Mobile,Tagataese drawn one and Jerry Fitz drawn two. Tagataese had time off in a good grass paddock and has a bit of weight to lose, said Knight, who would expect him to go forward and lead.
''That should give Jerry Fitz the run on the race, he is the fittest [of our runners] and is probably our best chance,'' she said.
- The Southland Times