Day At The Track

Emain Macha all class

12:00 AM 24 Apr 2018 NZST
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Emain Macha, harness racing
Emain Macha returned to Globe Derby Park on Saturday

South Australia’s reigning Horse Of The Year, Emain Macha returned to Globe Derby Park on Saturday and demonstrated why he had been awarded the harness racing title.

Basically untouched, Emain Macha rated a sizzling 1:55.2 in winning the Sage Hotel Pace (1800m), heat four of the Lonsdale Sand & Metal Reinswomen’s Invitation.

Queensland’s Dannielle McMullen was the lucky reinswoman to pick up the drive on Emain Macha.

“I have to admit I didn’t really know a lot about him before Saturday but everyone I spoke to said he was a very nice horse, and they were right,” McMullen said.

“I was surprised he went so quick, he certainly did it easy. There is no doubt he could have run quicker had there been something up alongside challenging him.

“He did it so easy, and still won by nearly 15 metres. We regularly run 1:55 mile rates around Albion Park, but if he came up here, I’m sure he would be doing better than that.”

Coming away quickly from gate eight, McMullen took an early trail in the running line while up front there was a battle for the lead with a quick first quarter of the last mile of 28.3 seconds.

Once the field settled, McMullen allowed Emain Macha to stride forward and with a lap to go went to the front and proceeded to make it a case of ‘catch me if you can’ - and they couldn’t.

The four-year-old, which had been backed from $2 into $1.20 favourite, raced away to win by 14-1/2 metres from Clarenden Hustler ($26) with Montanas Jet ($31.40), 10-1/2 metres away third.

Part-owner-trainer Greg Scholefield said the gelding was now back to peak fitness following a life-threatening illness last year.

“When he got home after Saturday night, he ate up, and was ready for more,” Scholefield said.

“Considering he has done a bit of travelling in the past two weeks, he has proved himself a tough horse.

“I had been thinking of freshening him up, but he’s telling me he is happy to keep racing, so I will look for suitable races. There are races at Shepparton and Globe Derby Park which might suit him, so I’ll make a decision later in the week.”

Emain Macha has had eight runs so far this preparation for five wins, a second and two thirds.

His win, before coming to Adelaide, was an all-the-way victory in the Mark Gurry & Associates Cup during the Mildura Cup carnival.

Graham Fischer

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