George Eliot kickstarts Grant's new year on the right foot

by Mike Love

Eyrewell Forest trainer Trevor Grant had a very happy start to the new year when he owned, trained and drove George Eliot took out the maiden trot at Rangiora on new years day.

“We had a great day all around really,” said Grant.

George Eliot settled 4 back the fence for Grant, before popping out at the 1200m to sit parked. George Eliot then outmuscled her rivals, drawing away to win impressively by 4 lengths from One El.

“One I got around to sit parked, which she likes doing, she loved it, and we pulled away at the end. I didn’t pull the plugs.

She’ll go on with it now. She is a very tough horse. She has more growing to do.”

George Eliot is a 4 year old mare by Royal Aspirations out of pacing bred mare Starwood In Aspen. Starwood In Aspen is an In The Pocket mare, and the decision to breed her to trotting stallions was not a difficult one after she had won 4 races as a trotter.

“Starwood In Aspen showed a lot of trotting ability at home and obviously on the track, winnning more trotting than she did pacing. She had a big heart.”

Starwood In Aspen left 6 foals, 3 of which were trotters namely Young Stranger (9 wins), Rachmaninov (7 wins so far) and now George Eliot.

“She (George Eliot) used to go 4 or 5 seconds under qualifying time but would always make a mistake at the start. It’s been a long term project with her. Everyone got to know her pretty well, including the stipes. But we know now we have something to go on with.”

As for what’s next in George Eliot’s programme, Grant is happy to kick around at home for the time being.

“We will probably stay around here for Ashburton or Banks Peninsula.”

Later in the day Grant trained and drove Rachmaninov into second placing.

“Him running second was just about as big a thrill as George Eliot winning.

It was nice to be the leading trainer and driver of the season for 30 minutes!”

Grant trains a team of 3 from his Eyrewell Forest base.

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