Day At The Track

Wilson closing in on 100 training wins

08:51 AM 23 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Annie Fitz,Harness racing
Annie Fitz winning at Ascot Park
Photo Bruce Stewart

Consistent mare Annie Fitz provided Whiterig trainer Ross Wilson with his ninety seventh winner at Ascot Park today (Monday).

It was the Bettor's Delight mare's eighty eight race start and her second win but over the four seasons she has raced she's banked close to $33,000 for Wilson who also bred and owns the mare. She's run second nine times and third eight times.

"She's always been an honest race horse - just a bit small. She used to tie up badly so we've changed her diet. We've cut back on the oats and are giving her more sweet feed," said stable spokesperson Chris Wilson.  

The win also provided junior driver Charlotte Purvis with her first winning double. She'd won earlier on her employer Phil Williamson's trotter Springbank Ella. 

The pre-race plan from barrier one was to sit behind the leader and it worked perfectly with Chinook Winds taking up the pacemaking role with Purvis and Annie Fitz dropping in to get the trail. Once the field straightened, Annie Fitz sprinted up the passing lane to beat Hot Off The Press by half a length.

Returning with a happy driver                                         - Photo Bruce Stewart.

"Charlotte did a great job and was driven a treat. She's not a leader and has to hand up. She's starting to come up the lane better in the second half of her career than the first." 

The Wilson team have been relatively quiet over the Christmas New Year period with the team being affected by a bad virus.

"They've all had a turn in the paddock, but they're on the way up now. She's been working super this week and we weren't completely surprised that she won. It was a free win today being a junior drivers event so she's still in the same grade. With the right draw she'll be competitive in the right races." 

With owner - trainer Ross Wilson and son Chris Wilson           - Photo Bruce Stewart.

Ross Wilson has been a great supporter of junior drivers. Since he's been training, the majority of his winners have been driven by junior drivers including; Robin Swain, Mark Jones, Nathan Williamson, Dexter Dunn, Matthew Williamson, Jamie Campbell, Adam Sanderson, Cameron Jones and now Charlotte Purvis.  

Wilson, who is a member of the Drive With Five tipping competition on this website, selected Annie Fitz to win, placing the "Shu Bet" ($100 each way) on the mare for a return of $2,770. The highest return in the competition ever.

Bruce Stewart

Southland Harness Racing

Annie Fitz winning yesterday

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