Day At The Track

Spotlight on Southland trotter of the year

08:21 AM 28 May 2017 NZST
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Spotlight The Valley winning at Ascot park
Photo - Bruce Stewart

With her win today Spotlight The Valley looks to have wrapped up the Caduceus Club of Southland Trotter of the Year title.

The Robert Wilson trained five year old mare has won four races this season and has been placed numerous times.

She did her early education for Wilson before he decided that he liked her enough to buy her.

"We worked Spotlight The Valley and De Vito on the Balfour track as young horses. We bought De Vito for the Balfour Syndicate and Spotlight The Valley for the Sunbeam Syndicate," Wilson said.

From the twenty metre mark driver Blair Orange settled the Skyvalley mare four back on the inside while Mass Invasion made the pace. With 1600 metres to run Orange moved Spotlight The Valley off the inside running line to sit parked. At the top of the straight she took charge and won easily by a length and three quarters from a late charging Jen Jaccka.

"She just keeps trying. We've been coming back over the last few weeks because we've had our eye on the Southland Trotter of the Year (award). With that win today we're just about clear I would say." 

Wilson, who has been a long time harness racing administrator for the Northern Southland Trotting Club has now trained eleven winners this season - his best in the six years he's had a licence.  

"It's been my passion for many many years and it's good to be doing things on the other side (training) of things now."

Photo - Bruce Stewart

With the season nearly over he says Spotlight The Valley may find it hard to compete in the future in handicap races in this country. 

"I think she's the sort of horse that would do a fantastic job in Australia. She'd probably be in the money most weeks." 

Seven of Wilson's eleven winners have been driven by Blair Orange. 

"This year I've given him first option on every horse I've had at the races. Often he's got drives for Paul Court or Mark Jones and I understand that but we've gone good together." 

Meanwhile Wilson's focus shifts to Ashburton in seven days when he has his first runner at the Harness Jewels. Eagle Galleon which is owned by him and good friend Gary Allen will start in the Group One $100,00. McMillan Feeds Four Year Old Ruby. He'll be driven by Dexter Dunn

Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness Racing


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