Auckland Reactor drew first blood for the Kiwis when he won the first heat of harness racing's prestigious 2012 Inter Dominion Pacing Championship at Gloucester Park in Perth tonight (Friday February 17).
The former Auckland Cup winner, who is affectionately nicknamed Mac because of his Dad -, proved too smart after receiving a glorious one-one trip by Canterbury reinsman Anthony Butt.
Butt was having his first win behind the tough 7-year-old. His regular driver and co-trainer, Mark Purdon stayed in New Zealand to drive at Alexandra Park.
Second favourite Washakie (John McCarthy) led for much of the 1700m mobile and did well to hang on for a two-metre second after being attacked all the way by Sneakyn Down Under and Darren Duffy. They eventually finished fourth behind Wrongly Accused and Morgan Woodley.
His winning sectionals were: First Quarter: 28.6. Second Quarter: 29.3. Third Quarter: 27.6. Fourth Quarter: 29.1.
has now won 30 of his 43 starts and almost $1.7 million in career purses.
Syndicate spokesman John Curtin couldn't believe how relaxed ‘The Reactor' was following the race.
"He just ran one of the fastest 1700m mobiles at Gloucester Park and I couldn't believe it when I went and saw him in the barn. He couldn't have even blown out a candle.
"That was a far cry from the Hunter Cup when he blowing for quite a bit after the race. Both Anthony (Butt) and I couldn't believe the condition he was in. He's a real credit to the work Logan Hollis has put into him over here.
"H's put on quite a lot of weight and can only be improved by the run. As for Anthony - what a brilliant drive. It's not hard to see why he's a former Interdominion winner and one of the best drivers in Australasia," Curtin said.
"It was also quite emotional because the horse got a rousing reception from the Gloucester Park crowd. I'm over the moon and so pleased for all the owners," he added.
By Duane RANGER (editor)
winning the first Interdominion Heat, 2012: