Day At The Track

Hard yards are paying off for Crossland

02:19 PM 10 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Laura Crossland
Laura Crossland

With the current form Laura Crossland is in, she is almost guaranteed a winner at Shepparton’s Gold Cup night on Saturday. The Kialla horsewoman is in career best form as a harness racing trainer and driver.

Having the season of a lifetime, she is ranked one of the top 10 trainers in the state.

Crossland grew her standing at the Leeton Cup meeting to start the year where she was involved in three victories.

The dedicated horsewoman trained and drove Scotty Titian to first place in the cup, reined Lets Katchmeifucan to victory in the Lady Drivers Invitation for trainer David Eurell and brought up her trifecta when her partner David Moran drove Lochinvar Hugo, a horse she trains, to victory on the card.

Crossland is amazed that she is regarded as being one of the best trainers in the state, but said everything was going right for her.

‘‘It’s been awesome actually, I couldn’t have imagined it to go this good so early on,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve always been consistent, but it’s like this season we can do no wrong.

‘‘It’s a bit surreal, it’s hard to imagine all the blood, sweat and tears over the years have all paid off.’’

Crossland and Moran have shown what can be achieved from a small stable.

The duo looks after 14 horses, less than half the size of most of the major stables.

But Crossland said that those challenges just made the success even more enjoyable.

‘‘With a big stable they’ve got a lot of support behind them, if a horse wins enough races and they’re not winning any more they can get rid of it and the owner will buy new ones, but we’ve sort of got to keep going,’’ she said.

‘‘With us we get a lot of rejects that we’ve got to run around and that’s more satisfying.’’

Having spent a lot of time focusing on training, Crossland thrives when she moves into the driver’s seat.

‘‘I’ve always driven, but I used to take a back seat to David and then Linton Power from out Tally way (contacted me) and I started driving his and I love driving the trotters, so I drive all the trotters here,’’ she said.

As Crossland first found an interest in harness racing because of her parents, it looks like a third generation is about to emerge.

Her eldest son Cody is learning the trade at Avenel under master trainer David Aitken.

‘‘Aitks is fantastic with him, you couldn’t get a better person, he comes back and tells us what to do,’’ Crossland said.

Twins Ella and Lane also spend their school holidays running around the Crossland-Moran racing stables.

But the family’s attention this week will be on a host of runners.

Moran will again be behind Lochinvar Hugo in race nine at Shepparton, while Crossland herself drives Starlight Storm and Mangochililime.

By Lauren Bordin

Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

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