Tom Ison missed the Lexus Medal presentation last week at Park Menangle, as part of the Carnival of Miracles launch, but was having a ball at Tamworth Paceway after driving five winners.
Ison was announced as the December winner of the Lexus Medal, which is handed out each month to acknowledge rising stars within the industry.
Ison, who had a very competitive 2019/2020 racing season, has returned home to Tamworth for a little R & R after working for the Roy Roots Jnr stables at Central Mangrove.
Ison put on a stellar performance at the Tamworth harness meeting last Wednesday - his five wins coming from six engagements.
"Last year was an absolutely rewarding year," Ison said. "I will head back [to Central Mangrove] at some stage - I just want to relax a bit."
The 23-year-old wrapped up last season with 677 drives, for 152 wins - including at Menangle - 200 placings and 65 fourth placings, which helped trainers take home their share of $918,000 in total prizemoney.
Ison finished fourth in the NSW drivers premiership, won by Luke McCarthy.
The boy from the bush, who commenced his career in Tamworth mini trots, has certainly established his name in harness racing.
His five winning drives at Tamworth included Christian Shannon and Shadow Pass, who are both trained by his father Andy, as well as It Aint Royal and Amused, who are trained by Tamworth's Richard Williams.
The Brendan James-trained Zoemagic was also on the list of winning drives for Ison.
Ison then picked up his sixth winning drive in less than a week when he travelled to Newcastle on Monday to make it back-to-back wins behind Christian Shannon.
He has five driving engagements at the Newcastle meeting on Friday night.
The wins are still coming the way of Team Teal ambassador Jemma Coney who, after driving her own pacer Watchful Lady to victory at Tamworth last Wednesday, then turned her attention to another of her pacers in Britney Jane, who had a win at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Britney Jane was driven by Nathan Dawson, who utilised to great effect the sprint lane in the $14,000 Changeover@Burwood Stud Mares Qualifying Pace.
Both pacers are trained by Jemma's father, Greg.
The Newcastle Mile last week had plenty going on even before the race commenced, when Lochinvar Art was scratched on the morning of the $100,000 race.
But there was a pleasing result for the Novocastrians, with The Black Prince - trained by Roy Roots Jnr - winning the feature.
Sydney reinsman Robbie Morris elected to take the shortest way home along the inside running line, to record a 2.7m win over Western Sonador (Rebeca Bartley). Bright Energy (Brad Elder) finished third. The mile rate was 1min 51.1sec.
It will be a big night at Menangle on Saturday, with the races including the $50,000 Pink Bonnet, the $100,000 Ladyship Mile and the $200,000 John Gibson Memorial NSW Oaks.
In the opening race of the night, Tamworth reinswoman Madi Young will take the reins behind Red Reactor, for trainer David Thorn, in the $20,000 Lady's Invitational Race. Good Luck
Tamworth will race again on March 4.
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