By Duane Ranger
KerryAnn Morris proved why she is one of the leading female trainers in Australia after winning three of the eight races carded at Albion Park on Saturday night.
The 30-year-old Menangle horsewoman is currently suspended from driving for 18 days, but that didn’t stop her from nailing the hatrick in races one, two, and four.
Queensland’s leading reinsman, Nathan Dawson, drove two of the winners for Morris via $1.70 favourite, I Am Serengeti in the first event, and $3.70 second favourite, Dark Energy, three races later.
Dark Energy recorded the quickest mile rate (1:53.1) of the evening.
Adam Sanderson also delivered for Morris when $3.50 second favourite, Bettor Be Ready, sat parked and then stuck on gamely to win by half-a-head.
Morris said two of the winners were now for sale.
“Both Dark Energy and I Am Serengeti are on the market, and I’d like to leave them up here if a sale can be negotiated. They are both nice horses and are two of eight I brought up here two Thursdays ago."
“It was a good night on Saturday - both Nathan and Adam drove the horses well.
"We are working a team of 50 back home and the plan is to win at least 100 races every season.
“I think we have achieved that for the last five years.”
Morris is now sixth on the national training premiership with 85 winners from 589 starters.
She’s also placed 142 times this season for $797,906 in stakes.
Grant Dixon is still Australia’s leading trainer with 143 wins, after last season winning the national premiership with a record 340 victories.
Morris finished fifth with 168 wins and $1.5 million in purses.
Speaking of title hopes, Nathan Dawson increased his lead at the top of the Queensland Driving Premiership with his two wins.
Dawson has now saluted the judge 107 times – 13 more than his nearest rival, Paul Diebert.
Dawson has also placed on 144 occasions and banked $690,793 in stakes.
Last year Dawson finished 11th nationally, winning 141 races and $796,699 in prize money.
“It was great to drive for KerryAnn and Robbie, I don’t get to wear these colours much, and it’s a bit of an honour really - the colours give you plenty of confidence," Dawson said.
“It’s been a great season so far, and I just want to keep winning.
"Paul is driving well, and is not too far behind me.
"We’ve still got more than five months of the season left, so a lot can happen.
“I just want to thank all the owners and trainers like KerryAnn who keep putting me on their horses, I will always do my very best by them.”
Morris said her team would remain at Grant and Trista Dixon’s Tamborine property until she and husband Robbie made a decision to go home.
“We are not sure at this stage when we will be heading south, It’s luxury staying up here," Morris said.
"The horses are treated so well and I’ve just put them in their paddocks.
“The only negative is that I miss my little boy, Archie (4), but for now I’m here until everyone gets sick of me.
She said James Dean would probably remain in Queensland, and she would like to get one more win out of Hot Flush up here before she becomes a broodmare.
“Aztec Bromac and the others will come home with me, but as we will see how the whole team races in the next week or so, and we will take it from there," Morris said.
“We have two babies we want to take to Bathurst for the Group One ($100,000) Tiara in a fortnight.
"We don’t have any superstars as such, just a lot of good, consistent horses.
“Four-year-old, Make Haste, is a promising pacer and I think he will go through the grades, but he’s still six months away from his best.
“I just want to thank Grant and Trista for their amazing hospitality, our horses really thrive here.
"Their facilities are amazing and they have been so good to us again letting us stay. They are so welcoming.”
Meanwhile, Elsa Larsen from WomenCan was presented with a cheque for $14,800 from Racing Queensland’s Harness Racing board member, Margaret Reynolds, following race seven on Saturday night.
Racing Queensland’s Development Strategy Manager, David Brick, said it was an honour for the State body to be involved in the very successful 2020 Team Teal Ovarian Cancer Campaign over the last couple of months.
“Two out of three women die from ovarian cancer, and we (Racing Queensland) are delighted to be associated with such a great cause," Brick said.
“Thanks go to Albion Park, Redcliffe and the Mini Trot Clubs that made this happen. Thanks also to Elsa and WomenCan. We are proud to have you on-course.”
Narissa McMullen was Queensland’s most successful Team Teal driver with 24 wins and $4,800 raised for the campaign.