After a stint working for top Sydney gallops trainer Mark Newnham, young reinswoman Chloe Formosa has returned to the harness code with a renewed zest for driving.
Still only 17 years of age, Formosa has most certainly made a fast impact since heading north to Queensland for the carnival period of the year.
The daughter of multiple Group 1-winning trainer Michael Formosa is in the Sunshine State working for the Robert Morris barn.
As Morris usually does, he has sent his team of 16 to Grant Dixon’s Tamborine complex.
That is where Formosa has found her fast success in Queensland.
She has only taken two drives since her northern stint commenced but she is yet to taste defeat.
The pair of victories came at The Triangle at Redcliffe in the sulky behind Bettor To Be Tricky.
Formosa – who is in her third season of driving – is hopeful the winners will lead to more opportunities on race day in Queensland.
“I will be driving against different drivers at different tracks and hopefully for other trainers,” Formosa said of her aims for her stint north of the border.
“I will be helping Grant Dixon and he is one of the best trainers in Australia, it will be a good experience for me.
“I need to watch and learn – take as much in as I can – as it’s a really good opportunity to be around someone like Grant and work here.
“It will be a big learning curve coming to a new state. Hopefully we can help out the team for the carnival.”
After getting her start in the game through her father Michael, Formosa was almost lost to the industry late last year.
She stepped away from driving to work on the ground at the Randwick stables of Group 1-winning trainer Newnham.
Newnham earlier this year revealed that he had accepted a coveted position in Hong Kong training and had his final Australian starter in his name last week.
Formosa spent around six months at the thoroughbred stable of Newnham across the back end of 2022.
The teenage driver may still be working for Newnham in the gallops if he had not opted to begin training overseas.
“I have always liked the thoroughbreds and my driving kind of hit a bit of a break at the end of last year,” she said.
“I thought it would be a good time to try it and try something different, I really liked it.
“It was a big eye-opener and it was good to get into a different industry.
“I think I will stick with the harness racing going forward and focus on that.”
When Formosa was finishing up with Newnham, she soon linked up with Morris, who was on the search for a junior driver for his team.
Michael Formosa was supportive of the idea of spending time driving in Queensland for his daughter.
Like Formosa, Bettor To Be Tricky has only recently departed NSW but he has also settled in comfortably.
The veteran nine-year-old gelding has recently transferred to the Dixon yard and has won strongly at the Peninsula-based club on two occasions this month.
“He has his quirks, at home he is a bit of a handful but he is completely different at the races,” she said of Bettor To Be Tricky.
“He is so laid back in the run and even though he is nine years of age, I still think he has a lot more runs and winners in him. He is racing good and consistently.”
Bettor To Be Tricky is likely to be back at the races in a fortnight, Formosa says.
Formosa has 16 winners to her name in her career so far.
She says one of her main aims while residing in Queensland is ticking over the 20 victories barrier, which will give her opportunity to drive on metropolitan Saturday programs.
by Jordan Gerrans, for Racing Queensland
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