Kialla pacer Gangster Boy will be chasing Group 3 success in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship Final on Friday night at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
The five-year-old Modern Art gelding, whose mother is Gangster Girl, overcame the outside back-row draw at $33 to score in the second heat of the series last Friday night, knocking favourite punters out of the park.
Trainer David Farrar praised the drive of concession reinsman Mark Pitt, whose pre-race plan was to find the back of Manuka Man.
“We had a bit of a plan. Mark had done the form and decided Manuka Man was the horse to follow and he was able to get on to his back,” Farrar said.
“Mark works for a good mate of mine, Wayne Potter, who does a really good job educating these young drivers.
“Mark has driven for me for a little while now. He actually drove a double for me at Cobram the other day (May 19), which was his first double. And Friday night was his first metropolitan drive … it’s a bit like an AFL player kicking a goal with his first kick, so that was a good achievement.”
Farrar said he had always deliberately supported young drivers because “they are the future of our sport”.
And he says five junior drivers have actually scored their first winning double with his horses over the years – Rosalind Fox, Nathan Jack, Thomas Gilligan, Riley Fortin and now Pitt.
Gangster Boy has had an ultra-consistent season, winning three races and being placed a further 11 times in 19 starts.
“We swim him a lot. That’s where he gets his fitness and strength from,” Farrar said.
“He’ll do his best this Friday night. Hopefully we can get a bit of luck with the draw.”
Meanwhile, Farrar’s six-year-old Mach Three gelding Attackamach has successfully returned from injury after two stem cell operations and a 12-month rehabilitation stint in Dederang.
“He’s pretty special,” Farrar said.
“If he stays sound I’m confident he’ll win a city race.”
Attackamach, whose mother was by the great Kiwi pacer Iraklis, resumed from over two years off with back-to-back seconds at Swan Hill and Bendigo before a 7.9m win last start at Cobram in a mile rate of 1:58.3.
“He can reel off a quick sectional. He’s a really nice horse,” Farrar said.
Attackamach has had nine wins and four seconds from 15 starts and finished sixth as a two-year-old in the Australasian Breeders Crown Final.
By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)