Australasian Grand Circuit
Stories:   Pacers 2005/2006 Season
Leg 1 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship   2005/2006 Results   Points
             22/10/2005  Albion Park, Brisbane,  Qld  2138m  Mobile Start  $125,000
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The strong influence the McCarthy family exerts in Sunshine State harness racing was again underlined at Albion Park last Saturday night when Slipnslide (Luke McCarthy) won the $125,000 Garrard’s Queensland Pacing Championship with his father John finishing a most unlucky third driving Be Good Johnny. 

John’s younger son Andrew finished sixth in this opening race to the 2005/06 Australasian Grand Circuit driving Cobbity Classic. Romeos Legend (Peter Greig) split the two McCarthy performers, with the former decorated youngster Slipnslide pacing a fast mile rate of 1:55.7 in its win. 

Rob Pearson, Secretary/Manager of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club said after the race that southern states can expect to see all three McCarthy horses contesting some of the major events on the circuit after again lining up at Albion Park this Saturday in the inaugural running of the $150,000 Ariadane-Walpac Trans-Tasman, the new race added to the Grand Circuit this season. 

The depth last Saturday’s Group 1 race had can be seen by officials balloting out two proven performers in current Queensland ‘Horse of the Year’ Flashing Red, and another to have also made the Grand Final of this year’s Auckland Inter Dominion, Winforu NZ. And to add to the encouraging situation currently in Queensland is the bid by Kevin Seymour, that State’s biggest profile owner, who last week made a $500,000 offer to purchase the Kiwi Mi Muchacho (NZ), the pre-post favourite for the New Zealand Cup at Addington.

The sire of Mi Muchacho (NZ) is Wilcos Kosby USA, which stands at Three Lakes Farm in Edenhope, Victoria. 

Double Identity, winner of this race in 2002 and 2003, started without his trainer and regular driver Harry Martin in the sulky. Bitten by a spider early on the day of the race, his replacement Darren Hancock was rushed from Sydney to steer the veteran pacer. From outside the front line, little went right during the race and the 9YO gelding beat only one home. 


The much improved Be Good Johnny turned in a remarkable effort. It broke early, dropping back through the field, only to run on better than anything in the race to be third. In just 27 lifetime starts, this 6YO gelded son of Fake Left USA has won 20 races, and seems to get better with every visit to the track. 

Gavin Lang made a hurried visit from Victoria to steer the Kiwi Jagged Account NZ, which he also drove in the last Inter Dominion. It was most disappointing, finishing last. The following day back in Victoria, Lang won the Kilmore Cup with the tough Robin Hood, another up-and-comer likely to be seen on the Grand Circuit this season. 

Slipnslide is now a 5YO gelding. It is by Perfect Art USA from Vanturk NZ, and went into this race having won 24 of its 35 lifetime starts for trainer-driver Luke McCarthy. Cobbity Classic, trained by Luke’s father John and winner of this Group 1 race last season, was also well supported. It was safely held on the night. 

Champion New Zealand reinsman Tony Herlihy dashed Sly Flyin NZ to the early lead, crossing Home Of Jack (Alan Donohue). When Be Good Johnny broke, Dinki Di went to the ‘death’. Hancock made a dash out wide with Double Identity, but it was short-lived. 

Track curator Ron Knack obviously had the Albion Park surface right back to the days when it was rated the fastest circuit in the land, as the 1:55.7 for the 2138m was “low flying”, according to Rob Pearson. 


All Time Pacing and Trotting Records pre-2001 please refer to the Australian Harness Racing Annual.

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