Day At The Track

Spidergrace on track for NSW Trotters Derby

11:12 AM 29 May 2014 NZST
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Spidergrace on Track for NSW Trotters Derby
EVERYONE seems to mistake her for a girl.

That's easily done when your manners are usually better than the other "boys" anyway.

Either way Victorian square-gaiter Spidergrace is ready to weave a magical 'web' around his rivals and capture Saturday night's $40,000 Bulli Harness Racing Club NSW Trotters Derby at Tabcorp Park Menangle.

Chasing his sixth successive win, Spidergrace appears to have come of age this term and even a disappointing outside draw (gate eight) might not be enough to prevent the son of Yankee Spider out of the mare Coral Grace (hence the name) taking out the Group One feature.

Trainer-driver Laura Crossland has certainly ticked all the boxes with Spidergrace.

She's had the three-year-old stabled nice and close to the track, at Jarrod Alchin's place only a few hundred metres from the track;

She has given Spidergrace two starts at Menangle - for two wins - so he already knows the track and handles it with ease.

And she has had the two drives there herself for a 100 per cent record - two from two - and she's hoping to add to that on Saturday night.

Fellow Victorian Asdenro, staring down his seventh successive win for trainer David Van Ryn, appears a hurdle for Spidergrace.

This pair has met four times in races in the past with the "score" standing at two apiece.

Crossland is confident her stable star can do the job again on Saturday night.

"He's super. RealIy, really good," she said.

"I think the two trips up to Sydney have toughened him up mentally and given him just that bit extra, because he's really improved."

And as for continually being mistaken for a filly, Crossland makes no excuses.

"It is a funny name and if I had my time again I would probably call him Spiderman or something like that," she said.

"When you're in a hurry to get a horse named you whack anything down."

The wide drawn doesn't overly concern Crossland either.

"I've never really asked him to get out of the gate as we've never had the good draws to make use of it," she said.

"But he did get out really well against the fast class horses trotters here in a trial one night, so we know he can do it.

Crossland admits she is also wary of New Zealand newcomer Our Twentyten, from the Brent Lilley stable and to be driven by star reinsman Luke McCarthy.

Our Twentyten was placed in the New Zealand Northern Trotting Derby and has beaten New Zealand's best young trotters in the past.

Lilley expects him to be more than competitive with the other Victorian visitors.

Crossland agrees: "I've watched a few of the Kiwi trotter's runs as I thought he must be pretty good with the horses he's beaten over there," she said.

Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |


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