February 28, 2023 National Trotguide
MOLLY Ison kicked off the Armidale Carnival of Cups meeting in style on Sunday, securing her first career win as a reinswoman with Miss Serena.
The Carnival of Cups meeting was hosted by Armidale Harness Racing Club.
The 16-year-old also landed a win for the Team Teal campaign for research into ovarian cancer by adding $400 to the coffers for the fundraiser.
“I have never wanted anything so badly in all my life,” grinned Ison on returning to scale to celebrate her win.
Ison sent Miss Serena straight to the lead from the three barrier and produced nice quarters of 29.2s-31.3s-28.7s and a final quarter of 28.4s.
“It was good to be out in front,” she said.
“I am not really in that racing position that often . . . but it felt good.”
Rounding the final turn into the straight, Ison began to encourage the Hurrikane Kingcole-Whatahottie six-year-old mare towards the finish.
“My mare began to slacken off a bit turning into the home straight,” she said.
“And I didn’t think we had won the race, I thought the one outside might have grabbed me.”
In a close photo finish, Miss Serena won by a head from the Richard Williams-trained and Tom Ison-driven Rolamax.
Ison also secured some great bragging rights over her older brother Tom with the win.
Miss Maravu, from the Jarred Hetherington stables, was a short half head away third with Brad Elder handing the reins.
Miss Serena produced a tidy mile rate of 1.57.7 for 1609m.
“This mare (Miss Serena) has really grown on me lately and I am pleased I have stuck with her to drive,” said Ison.
“It feels good.”
Molly Ison is following in the footsteps of her sister Emma, who secured her first career win at Armidale in 2018, launching her harness racing career behind Fear No Evil paying $33 for the win.
Miss Serena also secured her win at the long odds of $31 with their father Andy Ison listed as the trainer of both his two daughters’ first wins.
“Actually Emma said to me a week ago that hopefully you get your first winner at Armidale and create a family tradition,” said Molly.
Kicking off her career in 2022, Molly Ison is the last of four siblings from the Ison family to join harness racing with Sam, Emma and Tom all competing at the Tamworth harness meeting on Thursday afternoon behind Blissfull Donna and Miss Serena, with both pacers trained by her father Andy Ison.
- JULIE MAUGHAN