AS HARD as it is to believe, Wayne Hill has only just broken his Southern Cross maiden.
An Australian Driving Championship winner, Hill has captured a host of features, but has been found wanting in South Australia's key feature...until Saturday tonight!
Partnering the Alyce Finnis-trained Ever Hoping at Globe Derby, Hill has finally edged his name onto the honour roll.
"I haven't had much luck in the Southern Cross," Hill said. "That said, I've never really driven a legitimate chance in a Final.
"It's great to finally win one."
Beginning well from barrier six, Ever Hoping was settled two-back in the running line as Jawsoflincoln set the pace and Cobber worked on his outside.
Angled wide around the home turn, the son of Always B Miki unleashed a strong sprint to complete a two-and-a-half metre win from Major Lincoln.
Art Jester, a stablemate of the winner, was two metres away third.
"Gee, he finished well," Hill said. "I pulled the plugs at the 1200 just to get him to keep up with the leaders and was worried he wouldn't see out the race.
"Once I got him in the clear he really found another gear and finished it off brilliantly."
Rating 1:56.4 over 1800 metres, Ever Hoping took his record to three wins and three placings from eight starts for earnings of $35,825.
"He did well when third in his heat and I knew he just needed the right run, which is what he got," Finnis said.
"He's still got his Vicbred bonus to win, so we will look for a suitable race and aim at that."
*photo Walter Bulyga