John Morrison 100219 0299 featire 3333333John Morrison. Photo supplied.John Morrison will be out to follow in the footsteps of his childhood idol at this year’s Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards.

The talented young horseman was this week named a finalist in one of the five award categories at the annual event – the Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year.

He’ll be out to emulate not only the deeds of legendary Mid Cantabrian, Ricky May who last year was on the stage as a Lifetime Legacy winner, but also Sarah O’Reilly, who last year won New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year.

Morrison was initially nominated thanks to his outstanding achievements in the sulky as the winner of the last two New Zealand Junior Drivers’ Premierships.

He also broke new ground last year when he drove in the New Zealand Trotting Cup for the first time on board Di Caprio, who finished fifth.

A talented horseman with a bright future both as a trainer and a driver, Morrison’s citation suggested he is in for a long and fruitful career in the harness racing industry, and could end up as a high-achiever.

While news of becoming a finalist was welcomed by the youngster, it’s business as usual ahead for Morrison, with a busy three days in the sulky.

He’s in action at Addington on Friday night, and will then be at Rangiora on Saturday before making his way to Winton for the race meeting down there on Sunday.

Tonight, Morrison lines up one of his own stable runners, Boudica late in the programme.

The three-year-old filly has shown a modicum of ability in her early career, and with a good run from the inside draw, she should give a good account of herself.

He also slips into the silks of his father, Chris Morrison early in the night on in-form trotter, Random Jude.

Three drives tomorrow at Rangiora are then complemented by an excellent book at Winton on Sunday, where all five drives look big winning chances.

He’s on board Tease My Tartan, Delightful Chevron, Cabella Noir, Memphis Tennessee and Willangus Lad.

With 33 wins on the board, Morrison is just two wins shy of where he ended up last season as he shoots for three consecutive junior drivers’ premierships.

And it would come as a major surprise if he didn’t add to the tally over the weekend.

By Matt Markham © The Ashburton Guardian -  12 February 2021