The night clearly belonged to champion horseman Luke McCarthy.
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club played host to a superb night of racing featuring the Seymour Nursery Pace Finals for two-year-old and three-year-old pacers.
But McCarthy stole the show winning three of the four feature events including both Gr.1 $100,000 two-year-old finals with the Susan Hunter trained Waves Of Fire taking the colts and geldings division while his wife Belinda prepared fillies winner Smooth Showgirl.
In total, McCarthy drove five winners on the bumper ten race program.
“It was a good night at the office; Nursery Pace night is always a special card of racing and to win both feature events was super then to cap the night with Yank (Bling It On) winning another major is very special, he’s fast becoming one of my favourite pacers of all time.” McCarthy said.
The Gr.1 $100,000 colts and geldings final featured highly regarded Sydney trained colt Artistic Flite who started a firm punters elect despite his wide draw but luck in running was against him and McCarthy landed a perfect trail with Waves Of Fire.
With Admiral Bronski and Artistic Flite engaging in a survival of the fittest battle, Waves Of Fire loomed big danger approaching the final turn before unleashing a strong sprint over the concluding stages to beat a gallant Artistic Flite with A Good Chance running a brave race for third.
Waves Of Fire, a Courage Under Fire – Operative Waves gelding was a maiden prior to the final.
The winning mile rate was 1;58.4 for the 2138m.
In the Gr.1 $100,000 fillies final, Smooth Showgirl started a clear favourite following her dazzling heat victory over the previously unbeaten Makes Every Scents earlier in the week and McCarthy wasted little time in sending the filly straight to the lead after stable Bamako Mali crossed to the marker line first.
McCarthy controlled the pace perfectly with Smooth Showgirl before quickly turning the event into a sprint home over the concluding stages, Smooth Showgirl scored comfortably from emerging talent Feel The Faith while Bamako Mali finished third.
Smooth Showgirl, a daughter of Art Major – Golden Showgirl is a graduate of the Australian Pacing Gold yearling sale and is raced by the Gurney Family and Paul Montgomery.
The winning mile rate was 2;01.8 with the final section recorded in 27.3 seconds.
The Gr.2 $75,000 three-year-old fillies final went the way of strong local talent Charming Allie who outstayed Freedom Is and Storm Delle in a thrilling contest.
Trainer/driver Grant Dixon made his intentions clear early that he wanted to be up handy to the speed and kept pushing forward before finding the front nearing the mile marker.
Dixon rated the filly perfectly in the first half of the race before sustaining extreme pressure from Morethanmeetstheye down the back straight on the final occasion.
In the stretch, Charming Allie dug deep to hold off a brave Freedom Is while Storm Delle hit the line strongly once clear.
The Mr Feelgood – Charm Personified filly is raced by her breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour.
The winning mile rate was 1;58.5.
And in the Gr.2 $75,000 colts and gelding final, Bling It On clearly proved why is regarded as one of the best talents in the country with an effortless victory.
Finding the lead with relative ease from Iam Mr Brightside, McCarthy dictated terms perfectly in front before blasting home in supersonic sectionals and winning by an ever expanding margin.
The American Ideal colt raced clear in the home straight to score easily from Iam Mr Brightside and Raring To Go.
Bling It On joins elite company as a dual winner of the famed Queensland feature.
The winning mile rate was 1;59.0 with final splits of 28.5 and 26.5 seconds.
McCarthy also claimed the $20,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final with Mac The Finn while New Zealand owned mare Safedra also added to his loot by winning the Experience the Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz QO Pace.
The Sydney based horseman has now won the two-year-old feature seven times – Fleur De Lil, Slipnslide, Tip Your Hat, Aussie Made Lombo, Bling It On while both Waves Of Fire and Smooth Showgirl now add their name to the list.
The Listed $25,000 Flashing Red Handicap provided young reinsman Trent Moffat with his biggest thrill in the sport after steering veteran campaigner Vegas Bound to victory while his boss Grant Dixon scored in the $14,999 Charity Cup Final with cult pacer Majestic Mach.
By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)