Mojo Major thrust himself into Breeders Crown betting calculations with a tough repechage win at the harness racing meeting at Geelong on Wednesday night.
The Amanda Grieve trained two-year-old son of Art Major sat parked outside leader Avalon Castle before putting him away with a 28.6 third quarter, sprinting to the lead at the 300m and holding off a fierce late challenge from Andy Gath’s rising star, Burnaholeinmypocket.
Mojo Major held on by a neck, Burnaholeinmypocket the other key runner to follow out of the race as he attacked the line impressively.
The winner went 1:59.5 for the mile rate and came home with a last half of 57.5 seconds, his time the quickest of all the two-year-old repechages on the night.
The favourite, Mach Doro, sensationally galloped out of contention at the start of the race.
Highly rated New South Welsh colt Birdy Mach won repechage two by 3.7 metres over Stening in 2:00.8 for Luke McCarthy.
Down the back the first time McCarthy launched his claim on the odds-on favourite, sending Birdy Mach ($1.60) around the field in a lightning move to grab the lead off early pacemaker Feeling Arty.
Birdy Mach kicked away on the top turn as Iceobar gave chase for Chris Alford.
In the home straight the sprint-lane run opened up for Feeling Arty and Stening, but the McCarthy son of Mach Three fought on for a comfortable win.
Stening ran second for John Caldow and Feeling Arty was third, with Iceobar close-up fourth.
Two top-notch New Zealanders took out the two-year-old fillies’ repechages, with Cyclone Kate getting the job done for Gareth Dixon and John Caldow in repechage one before Katy Perry roared to a 3.4m win in the second repechage for Cran Dalgety and Dexter Dunn.
Cyclone Kate made her move down the back the final time after McCarthy and Smooth Showgirl had softened up the early leader Gotta Glow at the 1000m mark.
Smooth Showgirl hit the lead as the field headed off the back straight but her lead was short-lived as Cyclone Kate descended and shot to the front around the home turn.
At the finish Cyclone Kate had 6.9 metres to spare over the runner-up, fast-finishing Ameretto, who scorched home out wide, with Lettucesomewhere finishing third for Kerry Ann Turner.
Smooth Showgirl held on well for fourth after sitting in the breeze.
Tatlow Stakes winner Katy Perry took out the second of the fillies’ repechages, the daughter of Bettors Delight 3.4 metres too strong for Missed By Red for Amanda Turnbull, with Glamour Art third for Alison Chisholm.
Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria