In life, everything happens for a reason.
Just ask Luke McCarthy….that’s his mantra.
McCarthy and his trusty pacer For A Reason combined to win tonight’s (Saturday) Gr.1 $400,00 SEW Eurodrive Victoria Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton defeating Caribbean Blaster and Christen Me in the 2240m classic.
The victory of For A Reason completes a meteoric rise to the top – Again!
Purchased as a yearling at the Sydney Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale, the Art Major – Left For Me colt was quickly dubbed as ‘Frank’ by McCarthy, in honor of the world famous crooner Frank Sinatra.
McCarthy wanted his prized colt to be the best, so he named him after the best.
Although, there are times when McCarthy believes he carries on more like Frank Ricard, the character played by Will Ferrell in the 2003 hit movie Old School.
From the very beginning, For A Reason lived up to the hype and quickly demonstrated he was a superstar in the making with a stunning rookie term.
Returning as a three-year-old, For A Reason claimed four Derby classics and stamped himself as a genuine Grand Circuit player in the making but his career was about to be turned upside down.
It was during his four-year-old term where injury struck and McCarthy was forced to retire his star pacer.
For A Reason spent two years away from the track where he stood as a commercial stallion and covered around 45 mares before plans were put into place to bring him back to the racetrack.
It was bold gamble at the time, but one that has certainly paid dividends.
As expected, the early speed was frantic with The Gold Ace and Smoken Up going to war from the start.
The lead time was covered in 43 seconds.
Any chance of an easy lead for The Gold Ace evaporated quickly as Smoken Up continued to apply strong pressure on his outside.
The Gold Ace and Smoken Up continued to roll with the first half posted in 30.6 and 29.8 seconds.
The winning move in the race came from McCarthy at the 1200m marker as he tipped to the outside forcing Caribbean Blaster to go in front of him and therefore present For A Reason with the perfect three-wide cart.
Entering the back straight, The Gold Ace and Smoken Up were joined by Caribbean Blaster and the third quarter was reached in 27.8 seconds.
As they straightened, Caribbean Blaster quickly raced to The Gold Ace who fought off Smoken Up while For A Reason chimed in perfectly.
For A Reason quickly gained the upper hand from Caribbean Blaster with Christen Me and Beautide both finishing hard out wider on the track.
The last quarter was timed in 27.2 seconds.
The mile rate was 1;53.8 – just 0.1 outside of the race record set by Caribbean Blaster when successful last year.
“That was a super race; the pace was on from the start and I was lucky enough to get the right horse to follow.” McCarthy said.
“I’m really proud of my horse, I’ve had him since he was a baby and to come back and win a great race like this after two years off the scene and at only his sixth run back is unbelievable - awesome.” McCarthy added.
The victory provides McCarthy with his second success in the feature after scoring back in 2010 with former North American pacer Mr Feelgood.
For trainer Belinda, the victory is her second on the Grand Circuit calendar this season after taking out the Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship back in October at Albion Park with Ideal Scott.
By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)