After causing a somewhat controversial false start, Black Art has no issues at the finish of the junior drivers’ race at Methven. Photo: Race Images.
Andrew Fitzgerald isn’t about to start getting too carried away with things.
The young trainer and driver probably has every right to be getting excited, but he’s keep both feet firmly on the ground and is focused on his goals for the rest of the season.
In the past two weeks, he’s driven two winners - almost half of his total career tally from four seasons of driving. And to add a little more excitement to the mix, Sunday’s Methven winner Black Art, is trained by the youngster too.
“It’s been a good couple of weeks after winning with Lovetodream at Mot and then getting another one on Sunday with Black Art. “It’s pretty hard not to be happy about it.”
Black Art has become a bit of a revelation for Fitzgerald ever since he purchased him off Tim Trathen earlier this season.
In 13 starts, he’s won twice, placed on four occasions and only once finished further back than sixth and that was at Geraldine last week when he galloped after about 100 metres.
And it nearly happened again on Sunday at Methven. Black Art caused a false start the first time around but Fitzgerald stuck to his guns and elected to remain in the pole position.
“It was my fault, I had him up on the gate too early and things just didn’t quite go right. He was much better the second time around.”
Black Art is raced by a group that Fitzgerald put together himself, making up a mixture of new, young and old owners.
Included in the group are Fitzgerald’s parents, Grant and Christine, his brother Stewart, Wendy Nordqvist, George Hopman, Brett Nowell, Stephen Hunt, Susie Clark and John Penny - the last three of whom are all from Australia where Black Art may end up.
“He’s having a week off now and then we will get him ready for Nelson. After that he may head to Australia - we will just see.”
Fitzgerald is working his team from a couple of leased spots at Robert Dunn’s stables at Woodend Beach and mixing that role with working for Harness Racing New Zealand in the communication department producing the new-look Trotech among other roles.
As well as Black Art he has recently purchased, and is finalising the syndicate to race, Tribeca from the Tim Butt barn with a view to kicking things off with him in Nelson.
But, the Junior Driver champs are the main goal and that’s all Fitzgerald is keeping his eye on.