TALENTED reinsman Leigh Sutton, who has worked for the some of Victoria’s biggest stables, says a recent switch to drive for Narrandera’s Shaun Snudden has re-ignited his passion for the sport.
Sutton said he had thought about quitting harness racing after a bad fall at Ballarat 18 months ago.
“I got banged up in a race fall about 18 months ago and I sort of give it away for a while,” Sutton said.
“But when Paul Diebert decided to leave Shaun’s stable last month I saw a terrific opportunity to get back involved again.
“Shaun has up to 100 winners a year and to get the opportunity to drive most of them was a motivating factor.
“So I gave Shaun a call and away we went.
“I just love being back in the country and the lifestyle.”
The gamble by Sutton to move to the country has met with instant success with the pair already combining for several winners.
Although Snudden doesn’t have a runner in tomorrow night’s Albury Pacers Cup, Sutton has snapped up the drive on Baltic Ice for Undera trainer Glenn Freeman.
Baltic Ice took out the Border’s premier harness race last year but has failed to win a race since.
“He is probably past his best but could still bob up with the right run in transit,” Sutton said.
“He did win it last year after getting a cheap run.
“His run at Albury last Friday wasn’t bad because they went slow early and only sprinted home the last-half mile.
“I expect him to be thereabouts on Saturday night.
“It is just a matter of giving him the right trip.
“I think Jeff Brown’s horse, Smart Major, is the horse we all have to beat.
“His run two starts back at Leeton — second after being wide — was unbelievable.”
Sutton was a lot more upbeat about the chances of The Kingston Flyer who is trained by Snudden.
The Kingston Flyer has gate two in the $8000 C3-C5 Pace (2170m) and won at Menangle three starts back.
“My best drive of the night is The Kingston Flyer,” he said.
“I really can’t see him getting beaten.
“We gave him a trial the other day and he went exceptionally well.
“He should just dictate in front and be too good for the rest of them.
“OK Jake also looks a nice drive for me in the first on the card.
“But he has had drawn seven and will need his fair share of luck from there.”