If the past 18 months is anything to go by, the health of Victoria’s harness racing trotting industry is in thoroughly good order.
Superstars like Blitzthemcalder, Im Stately and Spidergirl have all announced themselves as horses which can capture public attention in the blink of an eye.
But a larrikin and his favourite little horse could be set to overtake those who have come before them as they shoot for another Group 1 win tonight in the three-year-old fillies’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final.
Mick Blackmore and Claudys Princess have made it to finals night with the daughter of Bacardi Lindy yet to taste defeat against her own sex.
And off the back of seven straight victories including two at the highest level, her trainer is brimming with confidence.
“I’m very happy with her, I reckon she is a little bit stronger since returning from her trip to Sydney,” Blackmore said.
“Friday night; when you look at it we don’t have the best barrier but we will just have to leave it up to the master (Gavin Lang, driver) to get the job done again. That’s why they call him Group 1 Gav isn’t it?”
Barrier six is made even harder by the fact that early speedster Illawong Moonshine has drawn inside her.
And the scorecard is getting narrower for Claudys Princess with her winning margin diminishing from 17 metres to just a half-neck in her last three starts.
That won’t stop Blackmore preparing for a post-race ritual that has served him well over time.
“I usually stop off at McDonald’s on the way home so I’d say that will be the case again, I know it’s bad for me but I just love the stuff,” he said.
“If she wins I’ll buy her anything she likes; I’ll nearly kick the wife out of the house and put Claudys in with me.”
by Blake Redden