Day At The Track

Rosati and McCarthy stride into winners circle

05:29 PM 26 Jun 2016 NZST
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Sapphire Stride.jpg
Sapphire Stride
Ashlea Brennan Photography

It's no surprise to see leading harness racing owners Emilio and Mary Rosati in the winners’ circle on Breeders Challenge Day at Tabcorp Park Menangle.

And beautifully-bred mare Sapphire Stride added to the fanfare when she scored a surprise win in today’s Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Group One for four-year-old mares.

What did surprise, however, was the price: Sapphire Stride was sent out at the amazing odds of $36.20 on the TAB before leading most of the way to defeat Hey Porsha and Dolly Braveheart, scoring by a head in a 1:52.7 mile rate.

Disappointment of the race was the $1.30 favourite Ameretto (Ash Grives), who settled down near last and couldn’t make up the ground in the straight before finishing a close fourth.

In a field of young drivers, John McCarthy could probably be classed as a veteran, even though he’s only mid 50s, but he took Emilio Rosati’s advice and showed the youngsters a thing or two.

“I thought she’d be quick out and I might struggle to get to the lead (from gate five),” said a jubilant McCarthy after scoring on the Belinda McCarthy-trained mare.

“But they just didn’t come at me in the straight.

“I was getting a bit tired near the line  . . . but so were they and she just kept boxing on.”

McCarthy [senior] described Sapphire Stride as a nice mare:

“We had a good barrier today and it might have been different if we didn’t and this win has made it really good for her as a broodmare later on.

“Emilio said you go show them – and today we did.”

Michael Howard

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