Harness - News

First win for late bloomer at Oamaru

  • Mon, 30 Jul 2018
  • Matt Markham
Grant Ross is joined by parents Don and Lyn Ross after Clive's win. Photo: Race Images.

Grant Ross is joined by parents Don and Lyn Ross after Clive's win. Photo: Race Images.

He’s not expecting Mark Purdon to pick up the phone and give him a call anytime soon, nor does he hope to be up in the shining lights with Blair Orange and Dexter Dunn in the new season.

The thrill of winning a race is enough to have Grant Ross pretty content right now.

The relative unknown claimed a major milestone early in his driving career at Oamaru on Sunday when he piloted Clive to victory in the final race of the day - giving him his first driving success at just his third appearance in the sulky.

And to say he was chuffed might be a bit of an understatement.

“It’s still sinking in a bit I think,” he said.

“But it was a huge thrill. I wasn’t actually that sure I’d won it - I had to ask Brad Williamson who had got it and he said it was me.”

Driving in the colours of his father, Don Ross, Grant had the consistent pacer in all the right places and he unwound stylishly to grab the win from Mr Midnight in the shadows of the post.

“Being on board a horse and winning for Mum and Dad was as much a part of the thrill as winning the race to be honest.

“They’re just good honest horse people who do their best with a small team and cherish every win they get; that was probably the most important part of it all for me.”

Ross never had much intention to be a driver, but an introduction at the Mt Hutt Workouts in Methven seven years ago got the ball rolling towards Sunday’s first driving win.

Although he’s pretty confident now that he’s a successful driver, he won’t be pushing on and trying to make a career out of it.

“I jumped on an old horse, Tom Bola, and we had a spin around at the workouts and I actually got off and thought it was pretty good.

“So, I’ve just been mucking around driving at the workouts and trials for a while now and then decided to get the licence and that’s how we’ve got to this point.

“There’s no real desire to make a good go of it though, I’m not about to set the world on fire.

“I didn’t drive a horse between his run at Rangiora last week to Oamaru, I’ve got enough going on with work and the family to keep my busy.

“Plus, I’m six foot four and weight 95kg, so I’m not exactly your image of a perfect driver really.”

With the first out of the way, Ross admitted to not being phased if he didn’t drive another winner - having achieved his goal - but just in case Dad, or Mark Purdon for that matter, need him - the phone is always on.