Day At The Track

Emain Macha wins SA Horse of the Year!

06:33 PM 06 Nov 2017 NZDT
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Emain Macha, harness racing
The connections of Emain Macha

The fairytale success story of harness racing pacer Emain Macha reached a new peak on Sunday when he was named South Australia’s Horse Of The Year for 2016/2017.

Emain Macha had an illness-shortened three-year-old season, but still managed to score seven wins from nine starts to take out the award.

Among the gelding’s wins were the Graham Head Memorial at Shepparton, the Victoria Sires Classic at Melton and the Mildura Guineas.

Emain Macha is trained at Naracoorte in the South-East by Greg Scholefield who is a part-owner along with Peter Lamond, Gail Davis and father and son John and Sean Penny.

For the Pennys, Emain Macha’s successes are quite emotional as both had the misfortunes to lose their wives several years ago, and harness racing is a release, but both are sad their partners cannot be around to enjoy the success.

Mr Penny said he was shocked by the Horse Of The Year award.

“I went along Sunday believing he had a chance of winning the three-year-old pacers colts and gelding award (which he did win), but never did I consider he would take out the overall award,” Mr Penny said.

“He has taken us on a fabulous ride and we were very disappointed when Greg (Scholefield) said he had contracted a virus and would miss the Southern Cross.”

Emain Macha became ill after his last win in the Mildura Guineas on April 7 and Mr Penny said there were fears the gelding could pass away.

“He was really sick, and Greg sought advice from a few different sources and eventually an equestrian vet gave a suggestion which put the horse on the road to recovery.

“Emain Macha is back in work now and we hope to have him back on the track in December. Greg has tentatively looked at races at Bendigo and Melton to start him off again.

“I can’t give enough credit to Greg, to our family, he is a champion trainer.

“His property is spotless, and the horses want for nothing. If they have the ability, he will get it out of them.”

Graham Fischer

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