Day At The Track

Home Of The Brave makes up for G1 mishap

07:11 AM 30 Jun 2013 NZST
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Dean McDowell
Dean McDowell

Many expected a horse with the word 'brave' in their name to win the $125,000 Group One Mach Three Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge for the harness racing 3YO Colts & Gelding, but that horse was Bebrave and not Home Of The Brave.

After working forward from barrier 12, Home Of The Brave landed the parked position outside Bebrave, before getting a smother up in the one-one behind Ultimate Art. The son of Presidential Ball then pounced on the home bend, hitting the front in the shadows of the post to claim Group One glory. His driver Colin McDowell celebrating with a victory salute.

So Kool Harry finished a close up second after enjoying the gun run in the trail, while Blissful Guy finished into third. Favourite Bebrave faded to sixth after looking like he was travelling strongly on the bend.

The win was compensation for trainer Dean McDowell and his father Colin McDowell after Home Of The Brave galloped away in the two-year-old version of the race, lost a stack of ground and still had the audacity to chase them down and beat two horses home.

"I was hoping there was one more Group One left in me before I kick the bucket," joked McDowell to Harness Racing NSW.

"After a while you start to doubt it will ever happen. I've contested a few but luck never seems to go our way.

"Today we had a welcome change of luck and got the job done.

"Honestly, I'm feeling a bit emotional too because to win a Group One is never as easy as it looks."

Colin paid tribute to his son Dean who trains the gelding: "He turned him out a treat and did all the hard work to get him right for this race.

The Alabar Breeders Challenge has been the main goal for Home Of The Brave this season, but there is now a chance he will head to Queensland for the Derby, where he will face the almost impossible task of defeating Majestic Mach.

Mitchell Robertson

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