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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: March 23, 2023: TERRY Croft and his son Shane were sitting in the stand at the May 2021 Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association sale at the Riverside complex when a Star Witness colt entered the ring.

“I didn’t go there intending to buy him, but finished up taking him home,” the Hawkesbury trainer said this evening.

“He was a lovely horse and well bred being out of an unraced Lonhro mare, and I said to Shane I wonder what is wrong as nobody seemed to want him.

“Someone else bid $6500, and I got him with the next bid for $7000.”

Now a three-year-old gelding and racing as Starros, it was a real family affair at Hawkesbury today as he broke through for his first win at only his fifth start.

Raced by Croft’s wife Roslyn and son Shane, Starros (Jay Ford) comfortably took the Pioneer Services Provincial Maiden Handicap (1300m) at $6.50, earning the $21,000 first prize.

In a Hawkesbury quinella result, Starros beat Blake Ryan’s Gulf Of Panama ($4.80), who had a chequered passage in the straight.

Croft said he found a lump on one of Starros’ hocks when he got him home, but it has never affected him.

“I had hoped to run him in the Inglis 2YO Challenge at the Scone carnival last May, but he went shin sore,” he said.

“I gave him three starts early in the season, but he wasn’t quite right and I didn’t keep going.

“He has been a different horse this time, and ran third first-up at Hawkesbury on March 4 and followed that up with another good performance today.”

Starros was Croft’s sixth winner of the season, and the stable is certainly in fine form.

His last nine starters have produced three winners and four placings.

. RacingNSW stewards called off the eighth race after initially delaying when substantial lightning was prevalent in the area.

However, when conditions deteriorated, what was to have been the final event was called off at 5.44pm.

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