By Alex Nolan
Queensland’s John Cremin will attempt to become the first Australian to win the World Amateur Drivers Championship when he takes the reins for the biennial series in Belgium on July 28-29.
The championship takes place at the Tongeron and Waregem tracks, where Cremin will take on drivers from 12 countries across the world in a six-race series, of which he’ll compete in four.
“I don’t know anything about the form of the horses but I’ve drawn barriers 1, 2, 2 and 3. Who knows? It’s probably back-to-front there so I will arrive and discover they are the widest barriers,” Cremin joked.
The championship is designed to put the spotlight on drivers across the world who don’t derive their main source of income from driving.
Australia’s best finish at the championship came in 2005 in Austria, when fellow Queenslander Denis Smith placed fourth.
Barbara Barry continued the proud tradition of Queenslanders representing Australia in the series, when she competed in Hungary in 2016.
“Barbara rang and asked whether I would be willing to take up and invitation to do it,” Cremin said.
“To keep Australia’s participation alive they needed somebody to travel. As I work as a farrier for a living I am considered an amateur when it comes to driving. Me and my wife spoke about it and thought it was something we’ve never done and will probably never do again, so we accepted and here we are.”
Racing Queensland Harness Development and Strategy Manager David Brick presented Cremin with his green and gold colours last month. He said the whole Queensland harness racing industry would be behind Mr Cremin during the championship.
“This series represents a golden opportunity to put another Queensland harness participant in the spotlight on the world stage,” he said.
“On behalf of Racing Queensland I wish John all the best during the championship.”
Cremin enjoyed some feature successes over the 2018 UBET Queensland Winter Harness Racing Carnival.
He prepared Lady Drivers Invitational winner Psychedelic to score at huge odds, and drove Hughie Green to his Queensland comeback victory in June, before the pair finished third in the Listed Mr Feelgood in July.