YOUNG Heathcote reinswoman Shannon O'Sullivan will make her Group race debut when she teams with the Kate Hargreaves-trained Well Defined in the $25,000 Priority 1 Property Central Victorian Trotting Championship at Wedderburn on Sunday.
O'Sullivan's first crack at a Group level will be one of three big drives for the 20-year-old from Heathcote on a big day on the central Victorian harness racing calendar.
She will also drive Monash in the $25,000 Central Victorian Pacing Championship before linking up with Neangar Guy in the $7000 Inglewood Cup.
O'Sullivan, who has notched six winners in the early part of 2020, including two during Team Teal month, is grateful for the opportunity given to her by the Kate Hargreaves-Alex Ashwood stable on Well Defined.
"I've been lucky enough to get the drive off Alex and Kate," she said.
"I went and trialled the horse on the weekend, just to see if I could get him away from the stand. He can be a little bit funny at stands.
"I got him away cleanly.
"Technically he'll come off the front, even though it's 10 metres, as there is no one off the front.
"I am really looking forward to it, especially being the first Group race I have been a part of.
"Kate's team has been firing with a treble at Mildura (on Wednesday) and winning with a first starter (Sheshell Rock) on Thursday night at Bendigo, so I'm sure they will be ready on Sunday."
Early favourite in the race is the Brent Lilley-trained gelding Galleons Victory ($3), who is fresh off a win at Globe Derby, and will be driven by champion reinsman Chris Alford.
Next in the line of betting is Travel Bug ($5), one of three starters for Marong trainer Shaun McNaulty, who also has Kimmywho ($9) and Fratellino ($11) in the prestigious race.
Well Defined is an early $16 chance.
(Kate Hargreaves') team has been firing with a treble at Mildura (on Wednesday) and winning with a first starter (Sheshell Rock) on Thursday night at Bendigo, so I'm sure they will be ready on Sunday.Shannon O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan is upbeat about her prospects in the Central Victorian Pacing Championship with the Susan Hunter-trained Monash, a horse she has driven three times previously for a pair of wins.
One of those wins was at Wedderburn last month on cup day.
"He seems to go really well for me - if I could find the front it would be really great," O'Sullivan said.
"Being a big race it will be pretty hard, there are quite a few nice horses in it. The one of Emma Stewart's (Pacifico Dream) has drawn outside of us.
"But he's won on this track before and I am confident if he gets the right run he will run a really, really nice race."
The five-year-old gelding enters the race in winning form following his win in a division of the Tiffany Murray Memorial pace at Echuca earlier this month.
O'Sullivan would like nothing better than to cap her day with a bold showing in the Inglewood Cup with Neangar Guy, who is trained by her father Jim and leased by her mother Terresa.
"He's drawn really well, but I'm not sure how Alex and Kate's horse (Dyslexic) goes as he is a first starter from New Zealand. I am sure I'll get a good indication coming off the gate," she said.
"It's a winnable race for him, but he will have to either find the front or sit in the death, which we are happy to do.
"He is going well and really bucking his brands off at home, so fingers crossed."
The first of six races at Wedderburn, the Kelvin and Elsie White Memorial 3YO Pace, starts at 2.39pm, with the final event times for 5.54pm.
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