Hurrell gets on the board at Hawera

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  • August 07, 2023
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By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Sarah Hurrell took out her trainer’s license to continue Half Of Nothing’s racing career, and the grey mare rewarded her efforts when recording her first training win at Hawera on Sunday.

“I was hopeful,” Hurrell said.

“Her first run back was okay and at Awapuni the track was way too heavy for her, so I decided to freshen her and head to Hawera. I was hopeful but I wasn’t expecting a win.

“The racing game is hard work, but I am stoked to get the win, I am really happy.”

A career with horses was always on the cards for Hurrell, who became hooked on racing after watching her mother ride track work in Christchurch as a child.

Hurrell followed the usual pathway with ponies and once old enough she followed her mother to the track and hasn’t looked back.

“I have been involved with horses since I could walk. My mum did a lot of track work, so I got the racing bug from her,” Hurrell said.

“I started with Paul Harris and then I went to Michael and Tasha Stokes and worked for them down in Christchurch.

“I moved up to Taupo eight years ago and then over to Taranaki where I now work for Gavin Sharrock.”

Domiciled in Stratford, Hurrell also rode work for local trainer Guy Smith where she became acquainted with Half Of Nothing.

The daughter of Redwood won two races before Smith decided to close his stable doors and Hurrell requested to take over the handling of the mare, with Smith remaining in the ownership.

“I have always had hopes for Half of Nothing and I wanted to keep racing her, so I decided to get my license and give it a go,” Hurrell said.

It hasn’t been plain sailing for the pair, with Half Of Nothing finishing toward the rear of the field in all three of her previous starts for Hurrell.

However, the Taranaki horsewoman was not deterred and pressed on, and was rewarded for her perseverance on Saturday.

Hurrell is now dreaming of bigger things with her three-win mare and is eyeing the Gr.3 Grangewilliam Stud Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Hawera on October 7 with her charge.

“I have a race in-mind, the Breeders’ Stakes at Hawera, but I would like to win at least one more race with her to get a start,” she said.

Hurrell is enjoying working her team of one around her commitments as a mum and working for Sharrock.

“I am happy with the way things are. I have got two kids, so I don’t want to get a lot bigger,” she said.

“Gavin Sharrock has got a few horses to come back in and that keeps me busy, so one is enough at the moment.

“Soldier Boy is working really well and I rate Stipulator quite highly. I have high hopes for both of them.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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