Wilson gets overdue win on home track
By Jonny Turner
Speeding Spirit ended a forty-odd-year wait when he ran to victory at Oamaru yesterday.
That’s how long his trainer, Ross Wilson, has been trying to win a race on his home track.
He finally completed the feat as both an owner and trainer when Speeding Spirit cleared out to win race 7.
Wilson has been training at Oamaru since 2009, around the same time he joined the Oamaru Harness Racing Club’s committee.
But his involvement in harness racing goes further back than that and totals around four decades.
During that time, Wilson has strived to win on the track he works his horses on every morning.
And after waking up today, the trainer can step onto the Oamaru surface knowing he has completed the feat.
“It is great to finally win a race on our home track; we have been trying for forty-odd years,” Wilson said.
“I have been on the committee here for about 15 years; it has been a long time coming, but it is great to finally do it.”
Speeding Spirit hinted he was ready to make his mark at Oamaru when running on strongly into second in his prior start on the grass at Wingatui.
Though the trotter has performed brilliantly on turf over the past week, it hasn’t always been the case.
“The horse has just turned the corner the last couple of weeks,” Wilson said.
“He has had his moments over his career, but when he has trotted, he has gone some good races.”
“He hasn’t always gone good on the grass, but he has in his last two starts.
“Cromwell might be an option for him after Christmas.”
Another Oamaru trainer had plenty to celebrate yesterday when Lord Fantasy ran to a debut victory in race 4.
Steve Allan collected his second victory as a trainer on his home track when Lord Fantasy wore down the leader Trail Boss to score for driver Matthew Williamson.
Allen might not be a familiar name with every harness racing fan, but he probably should be considering his involvement in the sport.
Allen has been an integral part of leading trotting trainer Phil Williamson’s stable for the past 13 years.
The horseman trains a small team at Oamaru racecourse and produced Lord Fantasy to win after the horse trialled impressively on his home track recently.