Day At The Track

Bob blows them away with 100-1 winner

08:00 AM 28 Jul 2020 NZST
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Taleah McMullen and Makin Good cross the line at long odds,Harness racing
Taleah McMullen and Makin Good cross the line at long odds

Veteran Queensland harness racing trainer Bob Foster is deservedly proud that he's still a hands-on participant - doing it all except for race driving.

Seventy-nine-year-old Bob takes care of breaking-in his horses along with the back breaking chore of shoeing. There's also deciding on the best feeding regime as well as all of the usual training and conditioning aspects.

And while Bob has had some highlights in his long involvement in the sport - he's sure to long remember the day he raced his square-gaiter Makin Good (Mr Feelgood-Makin Life Easy (Life Sign) on a winter's day in July 2020 at Albion Park.

The four-year-old bay gelding, bred to be a pacer, took out the $6810 Pryde's Easifeed Trotters Discretionary Handicap last Friday afternoon. The rank outsider paid a whopping $202.40 for a win on SuperTAB.

Course commentator Chris Barsby commented after the event that Makin Good had "blown up the tote boards in a major upset".

Makin Good is raced by Bob's daughter Judy in partnership with well-known and successful Queensland owner-breeder Doug Lyon - hence Makin Good's stable nickname, "Dougie".

"When Doug sold his property, he had to get rid of his horses. He had one mare left in Makin Life Easy. We did a deal to race any of her foals as partners-and our part was to look after and care for her," Judy said.

"She was in foal and Makin Good was born at our property. Dad broke him in-as a pacer.

"Later on when Dad got a bit sick, a friend in Dayl March took him on. He rang us one day to say he was training the horse as a trotter! We raced him a few times late last year, but he was never on his best behavior.

"Stephen Cini then had a go and won a race. He then lost form through bad barrier manners."

Four months later Bob produced Makin Good back at the track. And although his numerical form in his next five outings didn't look that flash on paper, he often wasn't getting beaten by huge margins.

After starting off the 30-metre handicap last Friday, young reinswoman Taleah McMullen, a rising star in the Sunshine State, got through the field in a big rush to land four back the pegs. The leading quartet had a gap on the other runners for the majority of the race.

Going into the final corner, McMullen pulled wide to challenge First Offence, No Love About It and Soh Twisted. She quickly got to them and sailed on by to win by nearly four metres.

"I forgot to have a bet on the horse because I was busy organizing a rally car event for the weekend. All my kids are into that and with the coronavirus, there's a lot of planning goes into it," Judy said.

"But I'm thinking dad might have had a few dollars on him, fortunately," she said.

Judy said her family had been involved in trots for as long as she could remember, and the horses are now prepared and raced from her property at Kalbar, 70 kilometres south-west of Brisbane.

"When I was really young, I recall being dragged along to the meetings in my pyjamas and we've been in it ever since! Dad told me he thinks his previous winner was Jet Spot, probably eight years ago at the old Parklands track on the Gold Coast," she said.

"I used to help dad with everything involving the horses. It was fun. But then three years ago I had a kidney transplant, so I don't do much at all now. I can't risk being hurt or I'd be in trouble.

"Nowadays Dad only mucks around with one or two each year, usually ones we breed ourselves, and he jogs around a little track we have on our small acreage and fast works once a week at a friend's track nearby."

Makin Good is the first and only foal produced by Makin Life Easy, a daughter of brilliant pacer Easy Duzit (by Fake Left). Raced by the Lyon family in the 2000s, Easy Duzit won 23 races with 33 placings for $122,000.

"We've been told that Makin Good may be the only trotter produced by the pacing stallion Mr Feelgood," Judy said.

"In the early days we actually paid up for the Q-Bred bonus for 'Dougie' as a pacer-but it turned out okay after we explained that he was later switched to being a trotter," Judy said.

"I'm not sure where Dad plans to start Makin Good again. He was thinking of going to Marburg."

And it would be fair to say that wherever the horse goes in the future, he probably won't ever start at triple-figure odds again.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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