Day At The Track

Steve' keeps Aussie unbeaten record intact

09:57 PM 15 Dec 2008 NZDT
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Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen - Will go on to open class and be very competitive
Peter Staple Photo

Victorian gelding Steve McQueen kept his unbeaten record in Australia intact when he accounted for a top class field in the $20,000 V74 Gold Label Pace over 2297 metres at Devonport on Sunday night (December 14).

Steve McQueen, prepared at Melton (Vic) by veteran trainer Graeme Lang, led for most of the race and treated his rivals with contempt over the final stages to score by over eight metres from Top Poppy with Eternal Miss a closing third.

It was the gelding's third start in Tasmania and it was case of "mission accomplished" according to Lang.

The race was restricted to four-year-olds that had started in Tasmania at least twice this season, which is why the former New Zealand gelding began his Aussie campaign in Tasmania.

"We bought this horse in New Zealand and when we got him home we thought the Tasmanian experience would be good for him and there was a chance we could race for some good money from the outset and fortunately that's how things worked out," Lang said.

"When we saw the restrictions on the conditions of this race regarding having to have had two previous stars in Tasmania, we decided to kick things off over here and it's worked out well," he said.

Steve McQueen ran boom Kiwi four-year-old Auckland Reactor to a head in a classic race last season but that horse has gone ahead in leaps and bounds while Steve McQueen has yet to take that big a step towards open class racing.

"I'm confident this horse will go on to open class and be very competitive in whatever we decide to tackle," Lang said.

Steve McQueen was driven by ace Tasmanian reinsman Rohan Hadley who replaced the gelding's regular driver Gavin Lang who has been off the scene for almost a month with a mystery illness.

Hadley and his father Max have been looking after Steve McQueen at Max's training complex at Scottsdale in Tasmania's far north-east.

"Max and Rohan have done a marvellous job looking after the horse and Rohan has driven the horse well at his past two starts," Lang said.

Steve McQueen is likely to stay in Tasmania for one more start before returning to Victoria where he will be prepared for a series of races in that state.

Peter Staples

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