There was no contest when it came to identifying the most popular winner at Richmond Park in Nelson on Sunday.
Junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson was the toast of the track after breaking her duck and recording driving win number one behind Zsa Zara.
The Christchurch 18-year-old had placed 12 times since beginning her career earlier this season but had been unable to get that elusive first victory.
Naturally, she was thrilled to get the monkey off her back, and to do it at Nelson, and on a family horse (trained by her grandfather, Ken Ford).
“It was really awesome to finally get that first win.
“Obviously, I’ve had a lot of placings, including a second in the Cromwell Cup on the rank outsider last week, which was very exciting.
“I’ve been getting close, so it was good to get there today.
“And to do it on wee ‘Zara’ because she’s broken down in the past and deserved a win.”
Tomlinson was a prolific kidz kartz driver and, in fact, has special memories of Richmond Park from that phase of her career.
“Nelson was where I got my first ever winner in the kidz kartz, so to record my first win with the big horses here was special.
“Most of the family are here today as well; we love the Nelson club and will always support it.
“We make it in to a holiday and come here every meeting.”
Tomlinson says she has received a lot of support from numerous trainers in her hunt for that first winner, and is immensely grateful to them all for it.
“Everyone has been really encouraging and supportive.
“Lots of people have been giving me drives and I’ve been really privileged.
“Especially my employers, Brad and Mel Mowbray and Steve Dolan.
“They’ve all stuck with me and kept giving me drives, putting me on horses in open races trying to help me out.
“Hopefully I can repay their faith by driving winners for them next.”
Tomlinson helps both stables out in the mornings before helping her grandfather with ‘feed up’ in evenings.
“I’m always busy, but the way I look at is, it’s not really working it if you’re enjoying it.
“I’ve also got my own horse, Mordecai, based at Grandad’s, too.”
Earlier in the race, a maiden trot, an unusual incident occurred when two horses galloped, seemingly baulking at the shadow of a plane flying overhead.
The day was made all the more memorable for the Tomlinson family when Kerryn’s older sister, Sheree, drove two winners with Sioux Princess and Zsa Zoe