Day At The Track

Season hinges on Queensland campaign

09:02 AM 11 Oct 2014 NZDT
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For A Reason will line up in the A cheeky Be Good Johnny driven by
For A Reason returns to racing at Albion Park tonight
Photo by Ross Stevenson.
Be Good Johnny

Leading harness racing trainer Belinda McCarthy will determine the remainder of For A Reason’s season based on his trip to Queensland.

In the Sunshine State for a three-run campaign, For A Reason will kick off his campaign in tonight’s Be Good Johnny Sprint at Albion Park.

The son of Art Major will then contest next week’s Gold Coast Cup before taking his place in the Grand Circuit opener - Queensland Pacing Championship.

Should For A Reason compete as hoped, he’ll than be taken across the Tasman for next month’s New Zealand Cup before returning to New South Wales for the Miracle Mile.

Expected to be freshened after that, For A Reason will then head south for his Victoria Cup defence before once again returning home for the Inter Dominion.

Poor Queensland performances will see the stallion restricted to local targets in a bid to qualify for the Miracle Mile.

“This trip will pretty much decide whether we go to New Zealand or stay home and regroup for the Miracle Mile,” McCarthy said. “That said, he is great shape and we can’t see him performing anywhere below his best.

“Although he is first-up since April, his work has been first rate, so he’ll be forward enough. Whatever he does this weekend though, he will definitely improve on.”

Drawn barrier four in the $30,000 event, For A Reason slots into three with the removal of his main danger, Lebron, which was predicted to lead from the pole.

To be driven by McCarthy’s husband, Luke, For A Reason will be pushed forward early.

“He isn’t the quickest out of the gate, but Luke will more than likely work his way forward, especially over 1660 metres,” McCarthy said.

“It will be a special race to win given Be Good Johnny was trained by Luke’s father, John.”

One of the best pacers to come out of Queensland in the modern era, Be Good Johnny won 48 of his 126 starts, with 48 placings and $1,671,405 also to his credit.

A son of Fake Left, Be Good Johnny’s biggest claim to fame is being one of six stars to claim consecutive Miracle Mile wins thanks to his victories in 2005 and ‘06.

Westbrun Grant was the ground breaker with his wins in 1989 and ’90, followed by Chokin (’93-’94), Holmes D G (199, 2000), Sokyola (’03-’04) and Smoken Up (’10-’11).

Village Kid is the only other dual winner of the prestigious sprint, having scored in 1986 and ’87.

The Western Australian’s victories were split by Master Mood when two Miracle Miles were conducted in 1986.

  • PAUL COURTS

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