Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
The feature event this weekend at Albion Park is the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake, a race named in honour of the greatest Queensland pacer of all time.
And arguably, the best this country has ever produced.
Born and raised on the lush soils on the Darling Downs at Egmont Park Stud at Toowoomba in Queensland, the rise to prominence for the horse affectionately known as ‘Blackie’ was meteoric and just like his tenacity to win, simply spectacular.
Blacks A Fake was raced by Cheryl Rasmussen, the mother of the young trainer/driver plus Helen Pointer, the wife of Ron Pointer who shared in the ownership of Egmont Park Stud and Trevor Titcomb, a fish ‘n’ chip shop owner at Boonah, west of Brisbane.
Partnered throughout his entire life with a talented young horseperson in Natalie Rasmussen, the pair combined to attract fans world wild as they dominated some of the biggest pacing events in the southern hemisphere and at times, on more than one occasion, and in a sport which is largely male dominated.
But that never stopped the runaway success train of Blackie and Natalie Rasmussen as they plundered features throughout Australia year after year and in doing so, continued to re-write the record books.
When the dynamic duo combined to win the first of their four record breaking Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Grand Finals in Tasmania back in 2006, they became the first Queenslander and first female to win the prestigious event.
The record books clearly show that Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen are Inter Dominion legends, they combined to win four titles starting with their initial success in Hobart back in 2006 followed by their victory in Adelaide in 2007 while completing the hat-trick in 2008 in front of a massive Moonee Valley crowd in Melbourne.
In 2009, on his home soil on the Gold Coast, Blacks A Fake was run down late by former North American pacer Mr Feelgood to deny him an historic moment after he was savaged in front by a tear away Auckland Reactor.
Sharing the record with Our Sir Vancelot as triple Inter Dominion winners lasted only another twelve months because in 2010 at TABCORP Park, Menangle, Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen created their piece of history as four time Inter Dominion champions after fighting off fierce rivals Monkey King and Smoken Up in an epic battle.
The record of four Inter Dominion titles has never been broken but Im Themightyquinn is still a legitimate chance of equaling it if he remains sounds over the next twelve months but, as it stands, Blackie is the complete Inter Dominion king.
A crown thoroughly and richly deserved.
Fittingly, both Blacks A Fake and Natalie Rasmussen have been recognized in the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame.
The record of Blackie in his home state of Queensland is also worthy of special mention.
In Queensland, or more importantly Albion Park, Blacks A Fake and Natalie constantly thrilled the local fans winning many a race on the famed Breakfast Creek site.
Blacks A Fake started 56 times at Albion Park (technically 52 but four races were staged at the Gold Coast in lieu of Albion Park including the Inter Dominion and 2009 QPC among other events) and won on 42 occasions while also managing 12 minor placings.
He amassed more than $1 million in prizemoney at Albion Park.
In other key stats with Blacks A Fake and Albion Park, his arch rival and dual Miracle Mile champion Be Good Johnny finished second to Blackie 6 times.
His shortest winning margin was a half head victory over Slipnslide in the 3yo QBRED Triad Final.
The biggest winning margin was 19.8m over Loud N Clear in a C9+ event in 2009.
He never started in a ‘SS’ event at Albion Park, only 6 in his career.
His most starts in a season at Albion Park came in his last with 14 runs while he never started during the 2004/05 season.
Blacks A Fake won the Winter Cup three times, the race that now carries his name.
Ironically, the favourite the for the 2014 Blacks A Fake is Im Themightyquinn, the wonder from the west who is rapidly closing in on his Inter Dominion record while looking certain to eclipse the Australian prizemoney record held by Blackie at $4, 575, 438.
Im Themightyquinn requires another $67, 982 to pass the record.
Fittingly, these two champion pacers, the two greatest of the modern era will come face to face on Saturday night as Blacks A Fake will lead out his race.
Blacks A Fake – a living legend!
By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)