When Laura Crossland’s father’s truck broke down and he wandered into a property to seek a hand, who would have thought it would result in David Moran and Crossland securing top trotter Spidergrace for their stable?
“He had a truck break down and was stranded in the middle of nowhere, so he walked into a property and the bloke there (Mick Grace) had a few trucks and some horses,” Moran said.
“He got talking about them and the bloke said they were trotters. So he told the bloke that his daughter trained a few trotters and (Mick) sent it down to us.”
Spidergrace has now had 14 starts for six wins and two minor placings and will be right in the market for the second heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Thursday at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
Spidergrace, by Yankee Spider out of a Red Coach Glory mare called Rockolina, has picked up $38,078 in stake earnings and is rated a $6 third favourite on Thursday behind equal favourites Miracle and Tiavons Dream ($2.20).
Moran said Crossland would drive Spidergrace like the best horse in the race.
“We’ll push forward and have a look for the lead I’d imagine and if Miracle doesn’t want to hand up we’ll sit outside him,” he said.
Spidergrace’s Holmfield run last start was enormous, finishing sixth of eight beaten 16.1m after breaking due to running into the back of a rapidly tiring Our Twentyten at about the 400m.
Crossland got off the back of the leader when Our Twentyten made his move and shot past pacemaker Asdenro, but then things turned pear-shaped.
If the favourite had kept up his momentum until the home straight, Crossland would have been lauded for a genius drive.
But he didn’t and consequently Spidergrace galloped and lost his winning chance.
“Laura said he was travelling the best he’d ever travelled in the run, and she made the right move coming off when she did,” Moran said.
“She was involved in a bit of a duel with Chris Lang at that point and she was probably more concentrating on that than the one in front. It was just one of those things.”
Showing enormous character for a three-year-old trotter, Spidergrace got back into his gait and finished strongly in the straight, passing two runners in the run to the line to finish sixth of eight.
“That was a really good sign,” Moran said.
“A lot of young ones turn it up after a copping a break like that, but he got going again and it was really good to see.”
There are two Super Series heats on Thursday’s program, with the three-year-old trotting fillies to have their second heat in Race 2.
By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)