Drinks All Round After Feelgood Victory

23 October 2011 | Chris Barsby
Gotcha; Mr Feelgood nails Smoken Up in the $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship

Gotcha; Mr Feelgood nails Smoken Up in the $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship Photo by Corey Pearce

World champion pacer Mr Feelgood started the new Grand Circuit season in the same fashion as last year.

The father/son combination of John and Luke McCarthy took a calculated risk handing over the lead in the Gr.1 $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship to race favourite Smoken Up shortly after the start before utilising the sprint lane to claim the Lance Justice star with Hesa Buzzin finishing hard for third at Albion Park last night.

Raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour along with Peter and Zilla O'Shea, Mr Feelgood took his earnings well in excess of $3 million with the promise of plenty more still to come this season.

“This is an unbelievable feeling, he's truly amazing to run down a champion like Smoken Up.” Kevin Seymour beamed.

Smoken Up controlled the tempo with the first half posted in 60.5 seconds with Washakie working without cover while Mr Feelgood and Hesa Buzzin sat patiently against the marker line.

The speed was clapped on entering the back straight for the final time yet Justice was mindful his immediate threat was parked right on his back , the third split was covered in 28.1 seconds.

As they straightened, Smoken Up held the lead with Washakie fighting bravely while Mr Feelgood dived to the passing lane.

Mr Feelgood responded brilliantly to claim Smoken Up by 1½ metres with a further 5¾ metres back to Hesa Buzzin in third.

The time for the 2680m event was 1;57.0 which is well outside of the track record of 1;55.9 held by Mr Feelgood when he scored in this race last season.

“This horse continues to amaze all of us, it's been an incredible thrill to race this horse and winning this race again in front of our home crowd is extra special.

“John and Narelle McCarthy deserve special credit, I know they were confident going into this race and their judgement was vindicated after another brilliant tactical drive by Luke.

“He presented the best I have ever seen and that's further credit to Team McCarthy and the job they have done managing this horse, it certainly caps a big week for the family after the birth of Luke and Belinda's first child.”

Connections have immediately switched their focus to the Gr.1 $500,000 SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on November 26.

“That's the only major trophy missing from the cabinet, he's claimed all the big Australian staying races which is not bad for a North American pacer.

“I believe he's done enough to warrant an early invitation but we can't be so sure, John will take him south later this week.”

As an extra bonus for on-course patrons, Seymour shouted the bar immediately after presentations concluded.

The 2011/12 Grand Circuit season is now officially up and running.