Cambridge junior driver Fergus Schumacher was back in the winner’s circle at Alexandra Park on Friday night after piloting home Anditover in the Schweppes Mobile Trot (1609m) for employer Ross Paynter.
It was the first run back for the son of Andover Hall, who finished fifth in the Gr.1 Northern Trotting Derby (2700m) in May, and Schumacher was delighted with the victory.
“It was a very nice win. Leading into it he had no trial and to produce a win first-up was quite impressive,” he said.
“He will be better over 2700m because he is a dour stayer, but he got away with a mile the other night because he stuck to his guns and he tries really hard.
“We don’t know how good he is at the moment, he does what he has to most of the time.”
Schumacher was pleased for the winning connections and was full of praise for his co-workers.
“It was a good team effort from everyone at Ross’ stable,” he said. “It’s a big effort what everyone does for the stable.”
With the victory, Schumacher took his win tally for the season to five, one clear of his nearest rival in the northern junior driver ranks.
Schumacher is hoping his form can continue as he holds ambitions of qualifying for the New Zealand Junior Driver Championships in his final season as a junior.
“I’m ticking away,” he said. “I am in front (number of wins) of the other juniors, so I am pretty happy with how I am going.
“This is my last season as a junior and the aim is to try and come out on top of the juniors this season.
“Hopefully it is my turn to turn the tables on a few and take it out. But you never know, there are still some nice juniors out there.”
It is the ninth season in the junior ranks for Schumacher and he said he has learnt a lot from his various employers in that time.
“I started with Arna Donnelly and then went to John Dickie’s for three years and then I came back to Cambridge where I spent time with Todd Mitchell and Mike Berger.
“I have been all around the place, but it is good to pick up different ideas from each and every trainer.”
Schumacher is enjoying his time in the cart and said it is always a highlight to get a result for enthusiastic owners.
“Winning for great connections like the other night is awesome. It was great to come back and see smiles on their faces.” – Cambridge Raceway