ELLALONG harness racing trainer-driver Michael Formosa dreamed of winning the Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Four-Year-Old Entires and Geldings Final with Ultimate Art at Tabcorp Park Menangle today but not the way he did.
After hitting the lead with his stable star around the home turn, Formosa threw everything he had to get the son of Modern Art over the line . . . all bar “the kitchen sink”.
“I envisaged this race grabbing the lead on the line but I hit the lead a lot earlier than I thought I would,” said Formosa.
“I may have looked like a blender down the home straight but I gave it my all.”
After two previous attempts of trying to win this race in his junior years, Ultimate Art claimed the Group One in fine style, equalling the class record for distance rating 1:56.3.
With the early leaders, So Kool Harry, Armbro Chimes and Blissfull Guy, all contributing to the scintillating lead time of 54.8s, it was up to the backmarkers to take home the race.
The final two quarters of 29.3 and 29.9s, saw Ultimate Art hold out So Kool Harry by a-metre-and-a-half and Nowitzki, who was close behind in third.
Having tasted success in the Bathurst Gold Crown and Gold Chalice, as well as a Regional Breeders Challenge Final, Ultimate Art extended his earnings to $270,815 from 18 wins and nine placings in 37 starts for owner Kirsty Formosa, Michael’s better half.
“Michael is a great trainer and this horse is a hard horse to train,” said Kirsty.