Day At The Track

McCarthy expects big improvement

01:02 PM 15 Oct 2014 NZDT
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For A Reason 1_20131214.jpg
For A Reason
Photo courtesy NSWHRC
for a reason

Fresh from his first-up fourth last weekend, harness racing star For A Reason is expected to be a major improver at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Pleased with the stallion’s performance at his return from a six-month break, trainer Belinda McCarthy is confident For A Reason can make his way to the winners’ circle after the Gold Coast Cup.

For A Reason’s previous victory came in the Goulburn Cup last January, with his five subsequent starts netting three placings, including a third in the Inter Dominion at Menangle.

“I’m happy with his effort, but he was in need of the run last week at it showed at the end,” McCarthy said. “He has pulled up well and his work has been solid.

“He will definitely be sharper for the run and we expect an improvement.

“That said, whatever he does this Saturday night, he will improve on again the following week for his main target.”

For A Reason’s “main target” is the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship, which doubles as the first leg of the Grand Circuit.

McCarthy is no stranger to QPC success, having prepared Ideal Scott to capture last year’s edition with her father-in-law, John, in the cart.

McCarthy’s husband, Luke, who will drive For A Reason, has won the Group One a record six times, beginning with Cobbity Classic in 2004.

Luke then scored with Slipnslide in 2005 and ’06, Mr Feelgood in 2010 and ’11 and Washakie in 2013.

Only Natalie Rasmussen’s two wins with Blacks A Fake in 2008 and ’09 have stopped the McCarthy’s during the past nine years.

As for For A Reason’s immediate assignment, the multiple Group One winner will begin from barrier three, with John shaping as the main danger as the trainer-driver of Blazin N Cullen.

A well-performed son of Christian Cullen, Blazin N Cullen will begin from the pole for the veteran horseman.

John also has Machtavish in the feature, with the gelding drawn awkwardly in gate 10.

“I’m happy with our draw,” McCarthy said. “From there Luke has plenty of options.

“Blazin N Cullen has drawn well for John and from there will make a real fist of it.”

McCarthy also cites Victorian raider Abettorpunt as a major threat after receiving barrier four.

Prepared by David Lewis, Abettorpunt was ultra-impressive when equalling the Ballarat track record at his first run for seven-month spell a fortnight ago.

“Abettorpunt is a nice type and they wouldn’t have made the long trip up for no reason,” McCarthy declared. “It’s going to be a tough race, but I’m happy to stick with For A Reason.”

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