McKinnon still in full Flight at 75
AT the age of 75 Dubbo horseman Bruce McKinnon is still having new experiences.
Having been involved in harness racing for almost 52 years, McKinnon will have his first drive on the Inverell track today.
He will be driving his beloved pacer Koloura Flight in the feature on the program, the Tabcorp Carnival of Cups (2000m), drawn barrier seven.
“I’ve never raced at this track before and I wish we drew the front row,” McKinnon said.
“My bloke is a much better horse off the front but it’s just one of those things.”
Koloura Flight at least has the form behind him to be one of the fancied horses in the field despite the draw he faces.
He won at Tamworth four starts ago in a 1:58.9 mile rate which was his sixth win to date.
The lightly-raced six-yearold only began racing two years ago and has made up for lost time.
“He is a very nice horse and we’ve had a lot of fun with him,” McKinnon said.
“But he had a bad start, he was caught in a fence as a young horse and ripped his hind leg open.
“They said he would never race.”
And 31 starts later, Koloura Flight has also secured 11 placings along the way.
The gelding is one of five horses McKinnon works on his property.
“I’m also breaking in a yearling half-brother to Koloura Flight at the moment,” McKinnon revealed.
“I also do a bit of farming growing oats and barley . . . I just like keeping busy.
“I’ve always had horses right through from Pony Club through to racing thoroughbreds but now I just focus on harness racing and breed our own horses.”
However, McKinnon will not be the only person making a debut today.
Young driver Emma Ison will also make an Inverell debut having her first drive in an official race.
The 16-year- old third generation reinswoman will drive Fear No Evil, trained by her father Andrew Ison, in race four.
And the competition will be tough as she faces her older brothers Sam and Tom who will also drive in the event.
“I have been anticipating this for ages,” Ison said.
“I love racing against my brothers – we do it in the trials so it would be great in a race.
“They have always been looking out for me.
“I always wanted to drive the big horses ever since I was little.”
Ison will then take to the track in race nine to drive Franco Seville.