EVEN a protest hearing which didn’t even involve him could not take the gloss off Jason Grimson’s marvellous week which saw him crowned the New South Wales Rising Stars 2016 champion at Club Menangle today.
Ironically Grimson finished last in the final Rising Stars event at the premier track at the end of a hectic week but there were excuses for that defeat as he endured a torrid run with $16.50 outsider Du Vella.
Yet the young Riverina reinsman had enough points in the bank to finish the series an impressive winner, despite the dramas of the final heat.
Stormont Czar (Stuart McDonald) was declared the winner of the race despite finishing second across the line behind Jilliby Jagger (Sam Ison), with Floyd Mayweather (Ellen Rixon) a close third.
While stewards adjourned to their room to eventually reverse the first two placings and give Stormont Czar the race, Grimson was able to celebrate what has been a meteoric rise through the ranks of harness racing, including his first Group One success at Bathurst earlier this year.
Grimson was understandably “stoked” with his great run: “I barely knew half these drivers before this week but now I can say they are friends for life,” he said.
“It’s been a great week and we’ve have really enjoyed the challenge.
“I’ve had a fair bit of luck this week because I got to drive some nice horses. It’s been a really good trip.
“And I have to thank the trainers for putting their horses in and giving us all an opportunity. Without them all this just wouldn’t happen.”
Final point score
JASON GRIMSON 83
STUART MCDONALD 78
ELLEN RIXON 77
SAM ISON 75
MITCEH TURNBULL 73
BRAD ELDER 61
TOM PAY 60
MARTELLE MAGUIRE 56
JAMES HARDING 45
ROSS DRUITT 29