Hans Ideal wins after 4 years and 89 starts
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
It took 89 starts for Hans Ideal to finally get a win at the weekend – and some of the mare’s nearest and dearest weren’t there to see it.
The seven-year-old capitalized on a perfect run to win at the Riverton Trotting Club meeting at Invercargill on Saturday for the father and son training combo of Ross and Chris Wilson. Ross races the horse along with son Rob and daughter-in-law Hannah.
“They weren’t there, they were playing golf at the Gore Golf Classic,” said Ross Wilson, “we might have to get them imposed on the photograph! ”
The horse was named after Hannah, following on from full brother Robs Ideal (named after Rob Wilson), who won seven races.
Both Hans Ideal and Robs Ideal were bred by Ross Wilson, and are by American Ideal out of Regal Treasure.
Hans Ideal’s victory has been a long time coming. She started racing as three-year-old in 2017, and before the weekend had been second on ten occasions and third eight times.
“She’s been threatening to win one,” says Ross Wilson, “she loves sitting on the fence, two or three back and having one run at them.”
And that’s exactly what happened at Ascot Park with driver Craig Ferguson getting home by three-quarters of a length.
“It was just one of those races where everything panned out,” said Ferguson, “it was a bit of a thrill and a reward for Ross’ perserverance.”
Hans Ideal (R9) will back up at Winton this Sunday. Her victory brings back memories of some of the horses over the years that had long overdue successes - pacers like Tortuff who won his first and only race for Timaru trainer Dick Caskey at start number 119. That victory for driver Peter Shand was at Gore in August 1998.
Ferguson had three winners on the day, and two for the Wilsons. He bookended the programme with Hans Ideal (Race 1) and Robyns Shadow (Race 10) who produced a winning run down the outside to edge out Omaggio and favourite Sentry in the last of the day.
Now 70 Ross Wilson’s based at Whiterig near Gore where he has eight horses in work, and a band of broodmares at Macca Lodge.
Synonymous with the “Robyn” horses Wilson’s current stable star is 12-race winner Robyns Playboy, who finished tenth in last year’s New Zealand Cup.
Since the 1980s he has trained 113 winners on his own account and a further 18 during the past two seasons with son Chris. His most successful season was in 2019 (15 wins, $174,034 in stakes) with Robyns Playboy, Swift Robyn and Bridesdale Robyn among his winners.
This season the winning tally stands at nine and that’s something Wilson senior is well aware of because of a rivalry he has with with friends, gallops trainers and fellow Southlanders Nikki and Barrie Blatch, who are based at Tapanui.
“A chocolate fish goes to the trainer with the most wins,” says Ross, “it was a draw last year, this season I’m three ahead.”