Craig MacPherson ended a six-year reign by Troy Taylor as leading trainer at Hastings Racecourse in 2013 and would like nothing better than to begin his own series of championship seasons.

“You put a plan in place and hope everything works out,” MacPherson says. “A trainer is only as good as his team working with him. It’s a lot of hard work but it can be rewarding.”

The native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario who lists his parents and Terry Fox as his role models cashed in handsomely last year with 34 wins, 34 second-place finishes and 31 thirds to finish just under the $580,000 mark in earnings. Four of those victories came in stakes races with Miss Derek winning the Supernaturel and Hong Kong while Bluegrass Pride took the Richmond Derby Trial and Kiri’s Gal won the CTHS Sales for 3-year-old fillies.

Miss Derek goes up against some lofty company in Monday’s Victoria Day co-feature at Hastings, the $50,000 Strawberry Morn for fillies and mares 3-years-old & up. Seven of the eight horses entered are stakes winners, including Overvalued, I Think So, Castinette Dancer, Madeira Park, Terlani and Dance the Wind.

One of the most memorable days MacPherson experienced last season was winning a maiden race for 2-year-olds with Aspen Getaway. His late grandfather Angus MacPherson, a member of the B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame, was being honoured prior to the race with Craig emotionally accepting the accolades on behalf of the family.