Local trainer Terry Howard was about as confident as he allows himself to get enroute to the Ballarat meeting on Wednesday night with his consistent mare Rosanna Lindy. But events completely outside Howard’s control almost brought about his undoing.
“We got to the track and I had the gear on Lindy when the most unbelievable weather hit the place,” Howard said. “I thought to myself, gee how unlucky would we be if they call this off.”
And little did Howard know, but his fears were almost realised. As Ballarat Trotting Club Chief Executive Paul Rowse explained:
“We were expecting up to 20ml of rain and prepared the track with that in mind. Early on in the night we had steady showers but nothing too dramatic. Then we had a huge downpour just after 8:30 and for a time I thought we might have been done and dusted.”
“The track copped a hammering for about 15 minutes and we had issues with our lighting. I have no doubt the stewards gave thought to abandoning the meeting.”
“But our track guys Steve Loftus and Phil Wight did a great job getting the track back up to scratch after the rain eased and the lighting came back up. We were able to run the Trot after a delay of 20 minutes and got through the rest of the meeting without any other issues.”
When the sixth race eventually got under way, Rosanna Lindy trotted away safely from her 10-metre handicap and settled towards the rear of the field at the winning post the first time. Patiently driven by Darby McGuigan, the daughter of Bacardi Lindy made a sustained run from the 600-metre mark and moved up three horses wide around the final bend. Despite giving the leaders a tidy start at the top of the straight, Rosanna Lindy finished powerfully to overhaul Beta Handoverdakash and Ventimiglia on the line.
The win was the mare’s third of the season and Howard clearly has her in career best form.
“She’s come back a much bigger and stronger mare this time in and is trotting really well,” Howard said. “She’s still inclined to hang on the turns under pressure and she hit a little flat spot on the last bend tonight. But once she straightened up she got home like a train.”
Rosanna Lindy’s win was the 20th of the season for horses trained from the Cranbourne Training Centre. Howard will be hoping she can add to that tally when she next steps out in a similar race at Kilmore next Thursday night..
By David Scott
Photo: Claire Weston Photography