First win for Crawford

By Tayler Strong

Robbie Crawford, who has been training the odd horse for the past 20 years, had his first win when Rostriever Victory was successful at Forbury Park on Sunday.

“It is my first official win but I did most of the work with Mary Josephine who won a couple of races after I went overseas and passed her to Ray Cleave,’’ said Crawford.

Crawford, a Waimate mortgage broker, races Rostriever Victory with Trevor Cleave, of Waimate on lease from Otematata breeder Ian Munro. Rostriever Victory, the only horse Crawford has in work, is a 7yr-old by Washington VC from Rostriever Jewel. The gelding qualified and had a fourth in 10 starts for Munro before he was leased out two years ago. It was his 48th start on Sunday and first win after a bold second at Oamaru at his previous start.

Rostriever Victory traces to Kid Dale, the dam of Waitaki Hanover, who won the Auckland Cup and New Zealand Free-For-All in 1966.

Mary Josephine had wins at Forbury Park and Oamaru in 2000 when raced by the estate of  Crawford’s father, Alby. He was involved in harness racing as a breeder, trainer and administrator when based at Mosgiel, where he had a butchery. Robbie has the colours of cerise with blue sleeves used by his late father.

Alby was a president of the  Forbury Park club and had his first win as a trainer with Gilda Tryax at Addington in 1969.

“Dad bred mainly to sell at the yearling sale,’’ said Robbie, who  is also involved with the administration side of harness racing.

Spangled Mary won a race at Forbury Park for Alby in 1973. The Thurber Frost mare won five races when trained by Alby and another for Jack Smolenski. She left the useful winners Shirls Lord and Spangled Lord.