Young Waikato driver Kyle Marshall has started the harness racing season in fine style and has shown a real ability in the bike for such a young driver.
Everyone knows how hard it is to break into the winners circle when you are starting out but Kyle is making a real habit out of it and has a lot of astute judges sitting up and taking notice.
Kyle has been around horses most of his life but got keen on harness racing at a young age.
” I got involved with Kidz Kartz pretty early and I have had the bug ever since.”
“After that I use to help out at John Dickie’s after school and on weekends and that confirmed to me that this is what I wanted to do,” Kyle told Harnesslink this week.
Getting his junior driving licence in the 2010/2011 season, Kyle went winless in his first season before driving five winners in his second season.
In the 2012/2013 season Kyle continued to improve and racked up 10 wins but before the end of that season he made the decision to go to Australia to learn from one of the best.
” I spent 18 months with Brent Lilley and I can’t thank him enough for all the help and advice he gave me while I was there.”
“I think I came back a better driver thanks to Brent’s advice and help,” Kyle said.
Returning to New Zealand this season Kyle has already racked up six winners and is the leading North Island based junior driver at this stage of the year.
One win stands out for Kyle since his return from Australia.
“I drove Unmissuble to win for my father at Manawatu which was a big thrill.”
“We brought her as a weanling for $400 and have taken her right through to winning a race so it was a special day”
“She was unlucky at Cambridge last Sunday and is not without a chance at Alexandra Park on Friday night,” he said.
Kyle knows he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of his family.
“Dad took out a licence to help me early on and the whole family have become involved in the ownership side to help me get more drives.
I wouldn’t be having the success I”m having if it wasn’t for them,” he said.
Kyle, who helps his father David out with his small team at Cambridge, hopes one day to go into partnership with his father.
” That would be special to train in partnership with dad,” he said.
With his great start to the season Kyle has his sights set on the New Zealand Junior Drivers Championships
“To qualify is the first aim but like everyone else I really would love to win it,” he said.
To succeed in harness racing today, you usually need a deep long term family connection to the industry or be attached to one of the leading stables.
Kyle has managed to succeed without either and looks to have a big future in the sport he loves.