Breakthrough Group victory for Stevens and Ferguson

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

There was no hiding the sheer joy that Jo Stevens and partner Dylan Ferguson were feeling about claiming their first Group victory at Cambridge last night.

Thanks to an aggressive drive from Ferguson, the Stevens-trained Rosie led from start to finish in the Group 3 HR Fisken and Sons Northern Trotting Breeders Stakes.

It was Stevens' first Group win as a trainer, and Ferguson's first as a driver.

"I'm a small-time trainer and for us to get our first Group win together - well I never thought in a million years that would be the case," Stevens told Paul Campbell (Campbell's Comments).

Usually it's Stevens gettting the post race interviews for her Track Chat Facebook page, this time she was on the other side as she celebrated her biggest moment in racing.

"I'm so excited."

Post-race that excitement was plain to see as she was engulfed with well-wishers.

Ferguson called the moment "a massive thrill" and a "huge team effort".

Rosie started off 10 metres but Ferguson got her off to a flier and with two laps of Cambridge Raceway left she was out by seven lengths.

Turning for home she was clearly the one to catch and while favourite and backmarker Double Delight was making up big ground Rosie held on to win by two and a half lengths.

"Rosie's no Double Delight on ability but she can run...and I thought we'd just keep going," says Ferguson.

It was Rosie's third win in a row and fourth overall in 10 starts. Despite her outstanding recent form she still paid $16.50 and $5.90.

She has not been an easy horse by all accounts.

"It's been five years of headache and heartache," says Ferguson with Stevens calling her "a head-scratcher".

But clearly the penny has dropped with the daughter of Peak with Stevens attributing that to a change in approach.

"I've been riding her, I ride her most days and we have one day jogging in the cart and here we are!"

Stevens isn't too concerned about what's next for her Group winning mare - it's really all about the here and now.

"I'm in disbelief and over the moon."


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