Washington Heritage may be all the talk in tomorrow night’s Mildura Pacing Cup after winning 13 from his first 14 starts but Geoff Webster’s affinity with the week-long carnival has become almost impossible to resist.
He of course trained pacer-turned-trotter Mister Zion to win the 2010 Mildura Pacing Cup before he made the switch.
And last season Flaming Flutter crushed his rivals in the Mildura Guineas while this year he has already cruised to a win in his Cup heat on Tuesday night.
Now, the stage is set for a showdown of epic proportions as the pair square off again for one of the biggest regional features of the year; Flaming Flutter drawn three, Washington Heritage in seven.
The leading Bannockburn trainer couldn’t be happier with his charge going into the race.
“He had an easy trip in his heat, it really was a good lead in to the final,” Webster said.
“He hasn’t really fulfilled his potential yet; he is always on the improve and he just keeps taking the next step so I’m sure whatever he does this season he be in the top level without any problems next year.
“He’s only a four-year-old so probably the Breeders Crown later in the year is his main aim so whether I give him a break now I’m not quite sure but at the end of the day he will have a break after the Crown.”
But Webster might have his greatest thrill for the weekend a world away at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night.
The exquisitely bred Mach Doro, a half-brother to Fly Like An Eagle, will tune up for the APG semi-finals when he takes on a small field in his heat.
Webster isn’t one for making brash statements but his assessment of the debutante winner is enough to make most stand up and take notice.
“He’s the best two-year-old I’ve had, he’s got gait speed and he is very well-mannered, he just ticks all the boxes. It’s going to take a very good horse to beat him,” he said.
By Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)