Hurrell Gets Ton
6th January 2021
Today Waikouaiti horseman Mark Hurrell reached a milestone when he drove his hundredth winner at Cromwell.
Driving Tad Lincoln trained by Paul Andrews, the junior reinsman fittingly saluted as he punched out the six year old to win the twelfth race by two and a quarter lengths.
Mark Hurrell getting win number 100 – Photo Monica Toretto
“It was Mum (Maria) and Dad’s (Ross) twenty fifth wedding anniversary today so it was a great present for them. They come to every meeting I drive at south of Dunedin. They’re my biggest supporters and told me to chase my dreams,” Hurrell said.
Earlier in the day he’d driven talented trotter Aveross Majesty for win number 98.
“I was pretty confident I’d get to 100 today but not on Tad Lincoln. My best drive was Aveross Majesty and he won really easily.”
Twenty two year old Hurrell started working for Wyndham trainer Brendon McLellan whilst at High School.
“He taught me a lot. I didn’t even know which way the hopples went on. He taught me all the basic skills and how to drive. He was really good to me. I was there for four and half years.”
Hurrell’s first winner was at the Riverton meeting in October 2016 when he drove the Alan McVicar trained It Ain’t The Money, to win.
After working for Brendon McLellan, Hurrell headed north working for Peter and Tom Bagrie for eighteen months. He also did small stints in Canterbury with John Dunn and Regan Todd.
“I’ve had some good people to learn off.”
Of the one hundred winners, seventeen have been from the stable of Amber Hoffman, his current employer.
“I moved down here about ten months ago. I was struggling up in Canterbury, not getting too many drives. It’s hard up there. They want the best drivers all the time and I was at a crossroads. Amber offered me a job – to be her stable driver. It’s been excellent. The beach is real quiet and that’s the lifestyle I like.”
Hurrell currently holds second place in the Junior Drivers National Premiership, ten adrift of current leader John Morrison.
“I’ll get a good crack at the Premiership once Johnny (Morrison) and Sheree (Tomlinson) finish up at the end of this season. Next year is my last year as a junior.”
Hurrell also had success at Syd Breen’s stable at Gore, driving fourteen winners for Syd.
“Syd was one of the first trainers to give me a crack. I was driving Sagwitch when he was winning those Country Cups. Syd had faith in me to drive his horses. He’s been a big supporter of mine. He never bags my driving.”
Hurrell is sponsored by Gore seed company Kubala Seeds.
“Pete’s been my sponsor since day dot. He’s sponsored all my gear and sign writing. He’s a keen follower and likes to have a bet.”
Mark’s successful hundredth winner today demonstrates the value of supporting and mentoring young people into the industry.