For Michael Muscat it’s been a whirl wind ride to arrive at Tabcorp Park Melton this Sunday.
The young New South Wales trainer/driver has only just turned 22-years-old and he will have a pair of Group 1 runners on one of the sport’s biggest days.
It’s a massive occasion for any trainer or driver who strives for the pinnacle but for someone so young, he is still keen to take it all in his stride.
“It is only my first season of training first time so it’s a massive thrill but having worked for some big trainers and having seen how they’ve coped I’ll just get through and enjoy the day,” Muscat said.
“It was definitely one of the best weekend’s I’ve had at the track (last weekend), I’ll probably never forget it.”
He will be hoping the memories just keep rolling with Majestic Amy and Heza Presidente set for their respective finals of the Blue Chip Farms Breeders Crown.
The former was charged with the task of taking on arguably Australia’s best filly in her semi-final and almost unthinkably, she hit the line full of running, clear of her rivals.
“I was pretty confident that with a bit of luck I’d run up to Mindarie Priddy, I just didn’t know where I’d be in the run. I thought if I got out I was a chance anyway,” Muscat said.
“She won under double wraps, once she got away from them I stopped driving her and she got through the line good.
All being equal Mindarie Priddy was clearly below her best on the day following the post-race news of a bleeding attack.
Nevertheless, the winning daughter of Artistic Fella was so impressive she has been installed the $2.80 favourite for Super Sunday by TAB fixed odds. And Muscat was bringing with confidence earlier this week.
“She seems good; she’s been bucking her brands off and eating up so we can’t complain,” he said.
“She’s proven that she can race the best horses, she will always need a bit of luck but when she gets that she’s definitely up to them.”
The second of the duo will be pitted against the well backed, and now $1.60 favourite, Ideal Scott in the four-year-old division.
But the Londonderry trainer has already shown punters that an odds-on favourite is nothing to fear.
“He just keeps getting better every time we send him around. I think six or seven starts ago he was a c0 but he’s just gone through his grades and now he is in a Group 1,” Muscat said.
“He probably needed the run and he’s pulled up good and hopefully he can improve a bit more and be thereabouts.”
by Blake Redden (Harness Racing Australia)