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Tomlinson leads charge for Kiwis in AYDC

By Alex Nolan

New Zealand's Sheree Tomlinson has enjoyed a near-perfect opening day in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship. 

The South Island representative snared the opening two heats of the series and a further placing to put herself atop the leaderboard. 

Tomlinson guided the Grant Dixon-trained favourite One Off ($1.75) to a 2.1m win in the opener, before backing up to score behind Goalkicker ($4.80) for Graham Dwyer. 

She later placed with Beef City Blaze ($11) for Peter Greig. 

Fellow New Zealander Alicia Harrison won the third leg for Bianca Hooper with The Gun Rockstar ($12), with Chis Geary getting a win on the board for NSW in the fourth heat behind Peter Greig's Werelivingthedream. 

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Experience and drawing the right horse counts for plenty in the AYDC and Tomlinson had her fair serve of both heading into today's opener. 

"It did help driving here last year and getting to know Redcliffe and Albion Park," she said. 

"Redcliffe's an interesting track. The dummy straight before turning for home can catch you out and forces you to be positive in the run."

Tomlinson said while the wins certainly help put runs on the board, it was the placings in the face of perceived adversity which will count most at the pointy end of competition. 

"It was a great start to get two winners and then the placing later on. You don't need to win every race but you do need to try and earn points," she said. 

"I'll go home now, do the form and see if we can do the same over the next few days.

"I'd really like to thank the trainers and owners for putting horses in this competition. If it wasn't for them it wouldn't be happening. None of us drivers missed out on drives right throughout the day." 

The Young Drivers will be back at Redcliffe tomorrow afternoon following a visit to a Youngcare facility, as part of the series' partnership with the charity that supports young people with high care needs. 

"It was an eye opener listening to (Belinda Mackintosh, Youngcare) speak at the launch this morning. I'm fortunate to have nobody in my family going throguh what some others have to deal with," Tomlinson said. 

"I think it's a fitting charity for this series to get behind."