Day At The Track

Long summer ahead - McCarthy

06:02 AM 21 Sep 2014 NZST
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For A Reason will line up in the BONAVISTA BAY.jpg
For A Reason is close to a return
Photo by Ross Stevenson.
Bonavista Bay is progressing well on the comeback trail

Several of harness racing’s major events – including the New Zealand Cup – are on the cards for top pacer For A Reason.

Due to return to racing at Tabcorp Park Menangle in the first week of October, For A Reason will have at least one more trial before a firm date is set for the stallion’s first-up run according to trainer Belinda McCarthy.

Should all go according to plan, For A Reason will have “two or three runs” before being taken across the Tasman for New Zealand’s premier event.

“At this stage he will have another trial at Menangle on Tuesday week before heading to the races the following week,” McCarthy explained.

“He is paid up for the New Zealand Cup but whether he goes will depend on his fitness.

“Ideally he will have two or three runs here to bring him to his peak then we’ll go over for the Cup and Free-For-All.”

While the Shaky Isles’ campaign is yet to be confirmed, McCarthy stated the SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile is a certain target.

Australasia’s premier sprint is scheduled to be run at Menangle on November 29.

The son of Art Major will then be given a freshen up ahead of his Victoria Cup title defence at Melton on January 31 followed by an Inter Dominion heat three weeks later.

“The Miracle Mile is one race we are definitely aiming at,” McCarthy said. “Whether he goes to New Zealand or not, we want him at his best for the Miracle Mile.

“He’ll also go south for the Victoria Cup and then head into the Inter Dominion.

“He has a long summer ahead.”

McCarthy is also set to give former boom pacer Bonavista Bay his first start since March 2013…that appearance, for Western Australian trainer Mike Reed, followed a three-year absence from the track.

Retired to stud due to injury, the Group One winner has progressed well this campaign.

“He will have another trial, and if he comes through that okay, he will be ready to race,” McCarthy said. “He was sent to us so he can race on Menangle, which should be better on his legs given the wider turns.”

Originally trained in Victoria by Emma Stewart, the injury-plagued stallion won 14 of his first 20 starts, with three placings also to his credit.

Bonavista Bay’s victories include the Melton Plate, Golden Nugget, Vicbred Final and Ford McInerney Classic.

The nine-year-old is poised to make his debut for McCarthy the same time as For A Reason’s return.

  • PAUL COURTS

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