Day At The Track

Breeders Plate dream close to becoming reality

08:12 PM 30 Dec 2016 NZDT
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Liam Armstrong
Liam Armstrong

Winning the MIA Breeders Plate Final at Leeton with his filly Our Marscapony has been the goal from the very beginning for young Coolamon harness racing trainer Liam Armstrong.

And the 22-year-old has a strong chance of fulfilling this dream as his two-year-old starts in the Group Three time-honoured classic on Sunday night.

Drawn well in barrier two, Our Marscapony is one of the early fancies with TAB Fixed Odds at $7.50.

“We don’t usually race two-year-olds, Dad (Garry Armstrong) has only given one horse a start at this age, but we specifically bought this filly for this race,” Armstrong said.

“We actually went to the Sale in Shepparton and bid on four colts before we bought her.

“She was the last horse and was passed in at the Sale in Sydney for $8,000 and we bought her for $3,500.

“We’ve never had a horse in this race before or had a horse in a race as big as this before.”

Our Marscapony is the first horse Armstrong has trained and has only been training the filly since his father was diagnosed with cancer three months ago.

And the daughter of Betterthancheddar gave Armstrong a flying start to his training career when winning on debut at Kilmore at the beginning of this month.

She then finished fifth in a heat of the Breeders Plate at Leeton on Boxing Day after being forced to race outside the leader.

“Her win first up was pretty exciting and then she had a pretty hard run when they went 1:59 in her heat on Monday,” Armstrong said.

“I did not do much with her after Kilmore and she needed the run on Monday but not that run . . . that was the fastest heat of the night.

“She has surprised me how well she has come out of that run and she will be a lot better for it.”

Victorian pacer Miss Sangrial won that heat clocking 1:59.8.

Trained by Daniel Jack, the Art Major filly has drawn barrier nine on the second row for the $40,000 final and is an $8 chance to win it.

The other Breeders Plate heat winner, Call Me Hector, has also drawn on the back line.

And despite drawing awkwardly inside the second row in barrier seven, the colt is the $2.80 favourite.

Trained by David Jack, Call Me Hector is unbeaten in his two starts to date and led throughout to take out his respective heat in a mile rate of 2:01.5.

The son of Art Major won his debut at Ballarat clocking 1:57.2.

The Southern Central Engineering MIA Breeders Plate is the main feature at Leeton’s TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups meeting, a race that has been held since 1955.

Amanda Rando

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