Kaleb Bublitz is making a pleasing start to the new season.
The Cambridge junior driver has placed in two of his five starts in his first season in the sulky and he is racking up awards as he comes to the end of his cadetship.
Bublitz was the recipient of the North Island Premier Cadet Award at the North Island Harness Racing Awards late last month and it was a pleasant surprise for the young horseman.
“It was brilliant,” he said. “I was stoked, I wasn’t expecting it. It was a really proud moment for myself and my family.”
He could add another gong to his mantle when he heads to the Harness Racing NZ Awards in Christchurch on September 28 where he will be one of four finalists vying for New Zealand Cadet of The Year.
“Hopefully I bring home the goodies from there as well,” Bublitz said.
“I spent the day down in Christchurch about a month ago doing a couple of fun activities and quite a few harness racing-based activities, including a time trial.
“We earnt points through the day, it was a great day, I really enjoyed it.”
Bublitz is nearing the end of his time as a cadet and is aiming to complete his requirements by the end of the year.
“I have still got a little bit to go,” he said. “I have done all my practical classes, I have just got to finish off some paperwork, then I am all done with cadets. Probably by the end of the year I will be finished.”
Bublitz is enjoying his first season as a junior driver and is hoping his first win is not too far away.
“I’m loving the driving so far, it’s the best time of my life,” he said. “I’ve had five starts for two placings, so I am doing alright.
“Just getting that first winner on the board would be my first goal and then we will go from there.”
Bublitz is working for Cambridge trainer Arna Donnelly, but originally started off working in the thoroughbred industry before following his passion into the harness code.
“I have been at Arna’s for just on a year now and before that I was working for Nicky Chilcott,” he said.
“When I left school I was doing a stint at the thoroughbred sales for six months where I was working for Milan Park in Cambridge.”
Harness racing is in the blood for Bublitz and he said he was always going to enter the sport.
“I have always had a love for harness racing. It’s in my family on both sides, so I was always going to get into it.
“I went through Kidz Kartz. I started that when I was 12 and I have been involved ever since.
“My Dad is a hobby trainer and his Dad trained horses on the side as well. On the other side of the family my Great Granddad, David Blackie, used to be the president of Cambridge Raceway back in the sixties or seventies.”
While Bublitz took home the cadet award at the North Island awards, his employer didn’t let him hold all the spotlight, with Donnelly taking home the North Island Female Racing Accomplishment Award.
The Cambridge trainer finished tenth on the National Trainers’ Premiership with 33 wins and $420,000 in stakes, nearly $200,000 more than her previous best season. – Cambridge Raceway