Despite having been involved in the sport for 43 years and handling several champions, master Bishopsbourne trainer David Crosswell had never had a runner in the Illingworth Classic until Monday night, when outstanding prospect I’m A Fencer (Go Wild Teddy – Wooreddy) blitzed his rivals.
The Kingsley Jarman owned chaser made full use of the coveted red box, led from the outset and had six lengths to spare at the wire, with litter brothers Strapper’s Boy ( Collide – Ricky’s Angel) and Clyde’s Angel, sharing the spoils.
Jarman purchased I’m A Fencer as a three-month-old pup from prolific breeder Barry Heawood and the chaser has now won 16 of 27 lifetime starts and stakes of $37,000.
“I reared him and broke him in for Kingsley and consider he is as good a chaser as I have had in recent years,” Crosswell explained this week.
The trainer is well qualified to comment on the subject, having won a host of races during his illustrious career with the standouts of the calibre of True Vintage, Busy Vintage and Highland Summer.
“The bitch True Vintage won me 16 races in a row, which I am led to believe is a record in Tasmania,” he explained.
“She was runner-up in the National Sprint Championship and the Hobart Thousand and was a classy customer if ever there was one.”
Busy Vintage won a National Sprint Championship and Highland Summer won a Launceston Cup, a race that Crosswell has won on four occasions.
Another chaser to have excelled from the Crosswell kennel in recent months is Galtee Again ( Meticulous – Who’s Girl), which was also successful on Monday night.
Possessed of a huge motor, the chaser defeated Gun Burner and Sirrom’s Choice by 14 lengths in the Pembury Stake for Grade 3 greyhounds, running slightly faster time than his kennel mate.
Raced by Margate’s Paddy Higgins, Galtee Again has now won 12 of 25 lifetime starts and stakes of almost $16,000.
“Paddy purchased him as a three-month-old pup in Melbourne and I actually reared him in the same yard as I’m A Fencer,” Crosswell explained.
“Ability wise there is not much between them, I’m A Fencer is a brilliant beginner whereas Galtee Again is still learning to come out of the boxes, but runs on exceptionally well.”
“If you put them over 515 metres at the Tote Racing Centre, one week I’m A Fencer will run the quicker time of the two and the next week it will be Galtee Again’s turn.”
The trainer will venture to Melbourne with both greyhounds in coming weeks to contest the Futurity at The Meadows and expects them to give a good account of themselves.
“They are as fit as hands can make them and both racing well, so why not,” he said.