Wyong trainer Mark Cross and his wife Alison recently paid $3000 for four-year-old gelding Amiens and on Saturday at Newcastle Racecourse the horse repaid his new connections more than five times over when successful in the 900 metre Maiden Handicap. First prize on Saturday was $16,740 with the promise of more prizemoney to come as it was only the son of Deep Fields fifth race start. Amiens was advertised for sale on the Inglis website and quickly snapped up by the Cross family “ this horse didn’t race as a two year old and was beaten a nose on debut at Canberra last August when trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. They gave him two more runs in September and October and he wasn’t far away. Amiens had a couple of trials at Randwick in February and the put on the market. When we bought him, I put him in a paddock for six weeks and I swim him a lot in the Wyong Clubs pool. I have nominated Amiens for the Newcastle meeting next Thursday and he has been pig rooting since we came home and ate well so I will probably run him” Cross said on Saturday night.
Mark Cross only has a couple in work at a time and he admits he is self-taught. He has been training for six years and he won seven races with his best horse Strandance.
The Peter and Paul training partnership saddled up four of the twelve runners in the 1200 metre Maiden Handicap and the team was rewarded with the quinella. The Snitzel colt Rule of Law ($2.25) was the heavily backed favourite. After a moderate start Andrew Gibbons drove the speedy Rule Of Law through the pack to lead the three year old kicked away in the straight and he raced away with a winning lead. The performance of the runner up Exoboom a $26 chance was superb near last on the home turn he unwound a powerful finish to get within a length of the winner
The only Newcastle trained galloper to win at Newcastle was the Paul Perry Ellie’s Encore. In the opening event the 900 meter Open Handicap, ridden by leading Hunter Valley apprentice Mikayla Weir the well backed Ellie’s Encore came from the rear of the field to win narrowly.