Ricky May leads men’s team to title

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The invited drivers with Woodlands Stud representative Stacey White at the Battle of the Sexes Drivers' Challenge prizegiving. Photo: Jane Orr

MID-CANTERBURY reinsman Ricky May was in dominant form at the Downbytheseaside Battle Of The Sexes Drivers’ Challenge at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill last week.

The Invercargill Harness Racing Club has run a drivers’ challenge with the support of Woodlands Stud since 1989 and in all those years only once had May missed the event.

He had won the individual title twice previously, and his name would now be engraved on the trophy for a third time.

May was a popular winner after making a amazing comeback after collapsing in the sulky at Omakau on January 2.

His results last week ensured the men’s team got off to a great start as May reined the winners of the first three heats Swift Robyn, Kiwitrix and Onesmartfella.

He followed with a fourth with Baileys Diamond in the penultimate heat to accumulate 33 points to win the individual title.

Blair Orange, Samantha Ottley and John Morrison made a strong start behind May in the first two heats, but it was Ellie Barron who finished runner-up with a second in the third heat with Franco Huntington and a win with Black Ops in the final heat.

She finished with 17 points, one ahead of Ottley who scored in all but one heat, with John Morrison a further point back with 15.

Blair Orange was next with 13 points, ahead of Mark Hurrell who won the penultimate heat with Jody Direen next on 11.

Sarah O’Reilly, 10; Sheree Tomlinson, 7; Nathan Williamson, 5; and Kerryn Tomlinson, 3, completed the scoring.

The points scored gave the men’s team a total of 77 points ahead of the women’s team on 53 after a strong comeback from a 40-12 deficit after the first two heats.

Results: Individual title: Ricky May, 33; Ellie Barron, 17; Samantha Ottley, 16; John Morrison, 15; Blair Orange, 13; Mark Hurrell, 11; Sarah O’Reilly, 10; Sheree Tomlinson, 7; Nathan Williamson, 5 and Kerryn Tomlinson 3.

Teams title: Men’s team — 77; women’s team — 53.

  • Lindsay Beer is the Southern Harness Racing promotions officer

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