HUNTLY’S Anthony Crossland can further enhance his status as one of Victoria’s most promising harness racing trainers in tonight’s inaugural Great Southern Star at Melton.
Crossland is one of only two Victorian trainers to have more than one runner in the unique trotting feature.
Two $50,000 heats will be run at 7pm and 7.33pm tonight, with the $250,000 final to be run at 10pm.
Kiwi-bred trotter Bellingham will line up in tonight’s first heat, while consistent mare Our Dolly Would is in the second heat. The top three in each heat and the next four fastest trotters will qualify for the final.
“We’re just preparing them for the first race and if one or both of them qualify, we’ll reassess from there,’’ Crossland said yesterday.
“Everyone is in the same boat. We haven’t experienced anything like this before.”
On form, Our Dolly Would is the pick of Crossland’s two runners. The five-year-old qualified for the Great Southern Star by winning the South Australian Cup.
“Dolly is nothing special, but because she tries so hard she just keeps achieving,’’ Crossland said.
“We’ve trained her with this race in mind and I think she’ll run a better race.”
Our Dolly Would will start from gate nine in the second of the heats. While Our Dolly Would has the better form, Bellingham has more talent.
“He’s probably the most talented horse in the stable,’’ Crossland said.
“He was going to be retired after he severly bowed a tendon, but he came back after a year off and has done a great job to get to this level. He’s probably the most inexperienced horse in the series, so he’ll be better off next year.”
– ADAM BOURKE