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Crosby family Ferocious about their Frankie

1 March 2024

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Former trainer Bill Crosby (right) after preparing Georgezilla to victory at Redcliffe in early 2020.

By Jordan Gerrans

At 84 years of age, respected harness racing participant Bill Crosby does not miss a morning driving his standardbreds.

On Friday morning of this week the former trainer was spinning a two-year-old around at Haigslea that his son Ben will eventually take to the races.

Bill has not trained in his own name since the 2019-20 season as he prepared the team first before Ben eventually took it over.

“We couldn’t do it without him, that is for sure,” Ben said of his father.

“He says that he wouldn’t do it if he couldn’t drive track work – he would give them all away he says. It keeps him going.”

Like he did with that promising juvenile on Friday morning, Bill was always in the sulky behind Frankie Ferocious for the last few years.

Frankie Ferocious – who Bill owns and bred – gets his shot at the ‘big-time’ on Saturday evening as he fronts up in the Group 1 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle.

The Crosbys are a family and stable that are known for always having one ‘good horse’ in their barn.

If they do not measure up, they quickly move them on.

In Bill’s early days, he was regarded as an astute breeder and owner that had a great strike rate.

For the last few years their ‘good horse’ has been Frankie Ferocious.


Captain Shuffles – who is also out of the Crosby's mare Morethanmeetstheye – has also been more than handy for the clan.

The Crosby yard have won Group 1s on multiple occasions across their tenure in the sport in Queensland and get their chance to earn another south of the border on Saturday.

Frankie Ferocious has transferred to the stable of the prolific Jason Grimson in recent times and is unbeaten for the Inter Dominion-winning horseman.

While the four-year-old gelding is no longer in their stable on a daily basis, the Crosbys have watched on with pride as he has won in his first two outings for Grimson.

“The old fella is pretty excited, he does not get excited about too much,” Ben said of his father.

“He is certainly excited about Saturday night. We are really happy as a team and we are glad he is going well.”

Queenslander Frankie Ferocious has drawn four for the time-honoured Chariots Of Fire and is $2.60 second elect with the bookmakers with Kiwi Don’t Stop Dreaming the only runner shorter in the market.

Bill trained and owned Morethanmeetstheye in her 57 start career which yielded 13 victories and 15 minor placings.

Like her son Frankie Ferocious, Morethanmeetstheye was known for her electric pace.

“She had unbelievable speed,” the 42-year-old Ben recalls.

Frankie Ferocious winning at Albion Park in the hands of Nathan Dawson.

“She was a bit hard to control the first preparation like when Gary Whitaker used to drive her. He was just a passenger at times with her high speed.”

Frankie Ferocious has long been regarded as a pacer in the upper echelon of Sunshine State horses and with Grimson regularly heading north for the Constellations carnival, he took notice.

Grimson’s regular reinsman Cameron Hart will be in the bike on Saturday. 

“I am really happy with the draw as he possesses really high speed,” Grimson said of Saturday night’s contest.

“I think he should nearly be able to cross those horses if Cam wants to, I will leave that decision up to him.

“Hopefully he gets a good run in transit and I think he will be very hard to beat.”

Frankie Ferocious has started twice for Grimson as he claimed the Group 2 4YO Bonanza at Melton in early February before he scored as a short-priced favourite at Menangle a fortnight later.

He has been able to show his versatility in his two efforts for Grimson – running over the top of them late in Victoria while leading in his Sydney contest.

Speaking on radio earlier this week, elite-level driver Hart has been taken aback by the gelding’s speed in his two performances.

“I don’t think I have, I definitely haven’t felt one like that before,” Hart said on radio.

Frankie Ferocious after a Brisbane winner.

“I have obviously gone quicker a couple of times but not the way he has done it. I remember thinking to myself at the 200 metre mark, I can’t believe the way he is feeling because I was still holding him back.

“He has got that great turn of foot and he can sustain it for a long period of time. He has certainly run a nice race and he can go quicker on Saturday night if he has to.”

Frankie Ferocious holds the class record around Albion Park as a three-year-old, which he posted in September of last year.

He was a winning machine in the Sunshine State before heading south, claiming 10 of his 20 starts.

The Crosbys always felt races such as the Chariots Of Fire and then potentially the Miracle Mile down the line were options for their speedy four-year-old.

Ben described Grimson as a ‘perfect fit’.

“We are rapt,” Ben said.

“It was always the long-term plan as we always thought he was up to these but he just had a few niggles through last season.

“He showed he could run a couple of really quick miles and we just thought if he was ever going to win a good race it would be over a mile. We thought this might be the one.”

The Crosbys are hopeful Frankie Ferocious shows more gate speed than Don’t Stop Dreaming in the early stages on Saturday night and that could be his key to victory. 

If Frankie Ferocious does progress through to the Miracle Mile, the Crosbys plan to head down for the race with Grimson declaring there is no concerns around backing the gelding up quickly.

Frankie Ferocious will not be the only Queenslander in the Chariots Of Fire field as Shannon Price’s Sure Thing Captain also will contest the event. 

Sure Thing Captain is a $41 chance as of Friday morning.



Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 12:38 PM


D: Nathan Dawson
D: Nathan Rothwell
D: Taleah McMullen