Cross couldn't be happier
It took Trevor Cross 20 years to win a race and the horse that gave him success has become hot property in southern harness racing.
The Wrath Of Robyn, who is owned and trained by Cross, of Gore, will be gunning for his fourth straight win in today's Fulton Hogan Mobile Pace at Omakau.
He won his first totalisator start when scoring in an $8000 maiden race at Winton in April. His record stands at four wins, a second, two thirds and three fourths from 10 starts.
After the long-awaited first win in April, Cross' goal this season was to win two races.
''It's a bit unbelievable . . . to get three [wins] in a row is pretty exciting,'' Cross said yesterday.
''I've had a few horses go through my hands. Some of them haven't been much chop.''
Vince Carter, closely related to Olga Korbut, a topliner in the mid-1970s, bagged two seconds and a third for Cross before joining another trainer.
Cross said dental treatment and putting back on a boring pole and murphy blind had played a big part in The Wrath Of Robyn's winning streak.
''He's a lazy track worker, but seems to step up when raceday comes along.''
One of his rivals today, Lucca Franco, is returning from a seven-month break from racing. Lucca Franco was a maiden winner at Omakau 12 months ago.
She has had two matinee runs in this preparation with the best result being a fourth at the Motukarara workouts on December 21.
Halswell trainer Steve McRae said Lucca Franco would benefit from today's race and back up at Roxburgh on Sunday.
Four of the five horses McRae has brought to Central Otago, will step out today.
''Franco Harrington is the pick of the team [at Omakau], but he's got a bad draw over 2000m,'' McRae said.
The Lis Mara 4-year-old gelding begins from the outside of the front line in the Macca Lodge Pace.
''He's a bit better than a maiden.''
The Stag's Roar, drawn No 1 on the second line in the Wederburn Tavern Pace, and Native Caesar, who contests the Night 'N Day Pace, are McRae's other chances today.
The horseman said Native Caesar was a horse to follow. The fifth member of McRae's Central Otago team, Franco Quixote, is entered for Roxburgh on Sunday. ''He's got ability.''
- The Southland Times