Eighty per cent of the 15,000 strong Gloucester Park crowd came to see if their harness racing hero could make it two Inter Dominion Championships in a row in Perth tonight (Friday March 2) and Im Themightyquinn did not disappoint them.
But it took a gutsy and daring drive from Gary Hall Jr to ensure victory for the $1.90 hometown favourite.
When others were making moves left right and centre, Hall sat back and waited...and waited....and waited before eventually making his move from last at the 400m.
"I must have had a million things going through my head when I saw Smoken Up break and lose his chance on the second bend. I thought will I go now, will I go mid-race, or will I just believe in 'Quinny's' sprint?
"It's something I've told other drivers who have filled in for me when I've been suspended - just sit back and believe in his speed. I'm glad I took my own advice," Hall Jr said.
and John McCarthy led for much of the journey. They held out and Anthony Butt when they made a mi-race bid to end up parked at the bell.
But less than a lap later the two guns were both found wanting - chucking in the towel at the top of the straight.
Outsider Mysta Magical Mach and Morgan Woodley almost upset the apple cart and looked the winners 100m out. That was until ‘Quinny' unleashed his characteristic powerful late sprint.
He managed to overhaul Mysta Magical mach just short of the line to get up and win by 1.4 metres. Lombo Navigator (Matthew White) was 3.7 metres back in third to make it an all Western-Australia trifecta.
Winners time: 3:03:1. Mile rate: 1:57:6. Lead time: 66.3. First quarter: 30.6. Second quarter: 29.7. Third quarter: 28.2. Fourth quarter: 28.3
Raglan and Darren Hancock were an 8.5m fourth.
Hall Jr described the win as one of the highlights of his life.
"It's hard to put into words what we have just achieved. It was a bitter sweet victory last year being handed the race in the inquiry room.
"This is much more gratifying. To hear the crowd yelling for us at the 300m really gave me goose bumps. It's not something you can usually hear. I'm just glad we didn't let everyone down." Hall Jr said.
"It's a night I'll never forget," he added.
The Gary Hall Senior trained son ofhas now won 39 of his 84 starts and placed on another 27 occasions. Tonight's victory also took his career earnings past the $3 million mark.
The 7-year-old is owned by and was bred by W.D. Kennedy of Southland in New Zealand.
He also qualified in New Zealand on January 23 at Rangiora.
He went on to win six of his first 27 starts before being exported to Australia as a 4-year-old in 2009.
VICTORIA CLAIMS 2012 AUSTRALASIAN YOUNG DRIVERS TITLE:
Meanwhile, Victoria's Ellen Tormey has won the 2012 Australasian Young Drivers Championship in Perth tonight for the first time.
Tormey had a slender one point lead over Tim Williams going into tonight's seventh and final heat - and held on to claim the title when she finished second behind Our Gent in the M1 Pace over the 2100m mobile.
More stories on this Championship will follow.
HAS THE ANSWERS WINS INTERDOM CONSOLATION:
The Tony Svilicich trained and Morgan Woodley driven Has The Answers led all the way to win tonight's V75 Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Consolation.
After a second and two sevenths in the heats the 9-year-old gelding repaid his faithful, paying $6 to win.
Rocket Reign (Shannon Suvaljko) and Sneakyn Down Under (Darren Duffy) were second and third some 4.2 and 8.8 metres away.
Winning time for the 2506m mobile: 3:06:0. Mile rate: 1:59:4. Lead time: 70.2. First quarter: 30.9. Second quarter: 28.3. Third quarter: 27.5. Fourth quarter: 29.1.
By Duane RANGER (editor)
Im Themightyquinn winning his second straight Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final in Perth tonight (Friday May 2, 2012):