Feelin' Fit: Mr Feelgood wins opening leg of new Barastoc Grand Circuit season, the Garrards QPC at Albion Park Photo by Ross Stevenson
Former North American pacer Mr Feelgood started the 2010/11 Barastoc Grand Circuit season with a bang.
Mr Feelgood, trained and driven by Luke McCarthy led all of the way to claim the Gr.1 $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship at AlbionPark last night.
Mr Feelgood defeated Washakie and Hesa Buzzin in a track record time of 1.55.9, easily eclipsing the previous mark of 1.56.2 set by Yulestar when he was successful in the 2001 Inter Dominion Grand Final.
Race favourite Blacks A Fake finished fourth.
Luke McCarthy wasted no time at the start by firing Mr Feelgood straight to the lead from his ideal barrier draw whilst his rivals jostled for early positions.
Mr Feelgood posted a lead time of 79.1 seconds whilst Be Good Johnny, Washakie and finally Blacks A Fake all made early moves.
At the 1500m, the two crowd favourites Mr Feelgood and Blacks A Fake engaged in a strong duel with Washakie sitting in the one out, one back position.
The first half of the final mile was posted in 58.8 seconds with quarters posted in 28.8 and 30 seconds.
Mr Feelgood and Blacks A Fake continued their stride for stride battle as they entered the back straight for the final time as the extreme pressure intensified.
As they passed the 400m marker, the third quarter was posted in a wicked 27.6 seconds and Mr Feelgood began to sneak away from his arch rival.
Upon straightening, Mr Feelgood had beat off the challenge of Blacks A Fake whilst Washakie dropped to the inside and followed Mr Feelgood.
At the finish, Mr Feelgood held Washakie by 3 1/4m with a further 4m to Hesa Buzzin in third that ran on strongly to grab third.
The final quarter was posted in 27.5 seconds.
The final mile of the 2680m event was posted in a time of 1.53.9.
It was the fourth Queensland Pacing Championship victory for McCarthy after previous success with Cobbity Classic in 2004 and Slipnlside in 2005/06.
Mr Feelgood is raced by Kevin & Kay Seymour, Peter O’Shea and Clinton Payne.
“That was absolutely fantastic, what a great thrill,” Part-owner Peter O’Shea stated.
“We were confident heading into tonight’s race but we still had reservations about the trip because we have kept him to sprint races lately but Luke drove a perfect race, it was a very skilful and tactical drive” O’Shea added.
Mr Feelgood has now won 30 races from 87 career starts whilst his earnings now exceed $2,447,276.
Since being transferred to McCarthy, Mr Feelgood has won eight of his ten starts.
McCarthy elected to bypass last week’s Gold Coast Cup, a move that proved to be a masterstroke last night.
The rivalry between Mr Feelgood and Blacks A Fake, the two horses who have won the last five Inter Dominion Grand Finals now stands at 4-3 in favour of the former North American star.
The next leg of the Barastoc Grand Circuit is the $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup on November 9 at Addington.