Australasian Grand Circuit
Stories:   Pacers 2005/2006 Season
Leg 6:   M H Treuer Memorial   2005/2006 Results   Points
              3/12/2005  Bankstown, NSW  2540m  Mobile Start  $110,000
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Queensland and the McCarthy clan claimed another Grand Circuit event on Saturday night when Slipnslide overcame an awkward second row draw to comfortably beat Dinki Di and outsider Mustang Fighter in the Treuer Memorial. 

Because the history of this race has greatly favoured horses being up on the pace in the final lap, drivers caught back in the field in the early stages on this narrow circuit of just 805m circumference were eager to make early moves, with action aplenty in the tactical moves that began, even before the first lap was negotiated.  

The Miracle Mile has traditionally been a good guide for the ‘Treuer’ – and this season’s running was no exception. In fact, the only horse to back up from the big sprint the previous week was runner-up Slipnslide, driven a masterly race by its young trainer Luke McCarthy to power away in the final stages. 

Minutes later, down in Victoria, the third pacer home in the Miracle Mile, Robin Hood, was most impressive holding off all challengers in winning the $50,000 Cranbourne Cup. Slipnslide, Robin Hood, and Miracle Mile winner Be Good Johnny, are all new faces on the Grand Circuit this season, injecting considerable interest in what is proving to be a ‘changing of the guard’ at the top.  

Their arrival could not have come at a better time following injury problems to our former No 1 Sokyola NZ and the highly promising It Is I, both being sidelined after competing in the Miracle Mile. Connections of both horses have stated they will now try and have this pair back ready to contest the Hobart Inter Dominion in late March. 

Punters singled out Slipnslide and Dinki Di as being the pair to beat in the Treuer Memorial. In the minutes leading up to the race, they shared favouritism both with on-course bookmakers and the tote. There was a good break to the next in betting, Hexus and former champion Smooth Satin. 


Prior to the race, McCarthy showed the respect he had for Dinki Di, predicting that if the Bathurst pacer got to the early lead, Slipnslide would have a real struggle to beat that horse. From barrier 3, Dinki Di was usually not the fastest out of the gate, but did like to then muster early speed. 

And that was how it began to work out, with Cashel Lugh NZ beginning best, only to hand up the lead when Mark Butler came charging up on its outside with Dinki Di, well within the first lap. 

At that stage Slipnslide was second last. But McCarthy had no intention of remaining there for long. When outsider Maggies Son went forward in a hurry, it brought McCarthy out to follow on Slipnslide, with the Queenslander finally reaching the ‘death’ at the wheel of Dinki Di. 

Other moves from the back followed, but none of these would challenge the leader, with Mustang Fighter finally giving Slipnslide cover. The move played into the hands of McCarthy with Slipnslide then having the coveted one-one. 

While Hexus was being pushed to the tail of the field, the two leaders were getting away with murder up front with quarters of 31.6, 32.8 and a very slow 33.5. It was obvious those out the back had little chance of giving their rivals a start and then trying to make up ground late in running. 

Once McCarthy pulled out from their good cover with Slipnslide, it glided past Mustang Fighter and then Dinki Di to win with what appeared to have been something in hand. It was a most impressive victory. 

The win later prompted McCarthy to announce his pacer was right on target for a trip down to Melbourne for the Victoria Cup, the first of the two Grand Circuit events to be hosted at Moonee Valley. 

The main disappointment in the race was the promising Victorian Sequoiahs Spirit NZ, which on its effort would struggle in the forthcoming Group 1 events. This horse has been advancing through the classes well, going into the race having won 14 of its only 23 starts. It may well prove to be a better horse with more maturity. 

Hexus should not be dismissed too quickly. It had suffered a setback in its early preparation this time in, and would surely benefit from the outing. Out the back in the last lap, it was then forced to race wide. It had started next to Smooth Satin on the second row. The latter is hardly the horse it was of three and four years ago, but could still get away with a race if it can dodge the likes of Slipnslide in coming weeks. 

The winner is raced by the wife of trainer driver Luke McCarthy, and is a 5YO gelding by Perfect Art US and Vanturk NZ.  



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

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