Warrior; The West Australian owned Washakie claimed the Gr.1 $200,000 Garrards QPC at Albion Park, the opening leg of the new Grand Circuit season.
Age shall not weary them.
Aging warrior Washakie scored a decisive victory in the opening leg of the new 2012/13 Grand Circuit season, the Gr.1 $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship at Albion Park last night.
Handled perfectly by star reinsman Luke McCarthy, Washakie ($2.30) finally claimed his first Group One event in Queensland defeating stablemate Terrorway ($2.10 fav) and Captain Joy ($18.70) in a time of 1;57.5 for the 2680m event.
“He’s a true warrior; without doubt one of the most determined horses I’ve driven in my career. A real pleasure.” Winning driver Luke McCarthy stated immediately after the victory.
McCarthy has now claimed six of the last eight Queensland Pacing Championships, starting with Cobbity Classic back in 2004 followed by back to back victories with Slipnslide in 2005/06 before going back to back with dual hemisphere champion Mr Feelgood in 2010/11.
Only the great Blacks A Fake has stood in the way of McCarthy with the mighty champion recording back to back victories in 2008/09 while the event was not held in 2007 owing to an outbreak of equine influenza.
Washakie took control of the race by the mile after Hiking led comfortably from the inside draw while Captain Joy pushed forward with Vegas Bound, Motu Crusader drifted back shortly after the start from his favourable draw.
The lead time was posted in 79.2 seconds.
McCarthy rated Washakie perfectly in front while Terrorway quickly moved around the field to sit parked, the first half covered in 30.3 and 30.6 seconds.
Entering the back straight for the final time, Washakie travelled kindly with Terrorway without cover while Hiking followed the leader with Captain Joy occupying the one out, one back position.
Washakie raced off the back straight in 28.4 seconds and had all of his rivals gasping.
At the line, Washakie held a brave Terrorway while Captain Joy filled third position, the final split was recorded in a brilliant 27.2 seconds.
“He felt so sharp tonight; once I worked to the lead and got away with an easy first half, his rivals were all facing a huge challenge.
Dad (John) has done a wonderful job with over the last eighteen months because he’s battled some niggling injuries with his age and style of racing; it’s a credit to both Dad and the horse.
And I’ve got to thank the boys who race this little star; they’re great guys who love there racing and have never lost the faith in this horse.”
Washakie has now won the Queensland Pacing Championship, WA Cup, Australian Pacing Championship plus the Treuer Memorial a record three times at Grand Circuit level.
The victory propels his stake earnings in excess of $1.5 million.
The 9yo Badlands Hanover gelding is raced by Kevin Jeavons, Gino Monaco and Lindsay Severn.
The next leg of the Grand Circuit is the Gr.1 $NZ600,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 13.