Natalie is beating her own deadline by declaring she will be back driving by the Ashburton meeting on October 28.

Previously she had merely hoped to be back for the Cup meeting after suffering a recurring virus and health complications through the early spring that took their toll.

But the virus is gone and recovery almost complete.

“She is Queenstown for a wedding and will probably stay  little longer but she tells me she expects to be back race driving by Ashburton”

The best female driver in the history of New Zealand harness and close to being the same for  Australasia, Natalie had resumed driving from May in August winning  5 races from as many drives before illness took hold. She has only had 44 drives this season,all in April and May after taking a break from racing,and won 20 of them for her usual enormous strike rate of nearly 50 per cent.

With numerous multi contenders for major races and Mark working with his thoroughbreds she will be a major boost for the stable talent over the Cup meeting and beyond.

In 11 full seasons of driving here -and  more than 100 drives in only two of those- she sits on 369 winners of $13m with a 1 in 3 strike rate. Her major contribution however has been as a role model for female drivers her confidence and success inspiring many younger women to greater heights.


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