The Dominion is all about the Ford factory.
However, it’s horsepower of a different variety – equine!
For the second straight year, West Melton trainer Ken Ford has walked away with the biggest trotting cheque in the southern hemisphere after his brilliant performer Marcoola delivered a stunning performance to win the Gr.1 $300,000 Used To Me @ Haras de Trotteurs Dominion at Addington today (Friday).
Twelve months ago, the Ford family was left shell-shocked after Amaretto Sun and young Sheree Tomlinson (Ford's grand-daughter) pulled off a longshot shocker to win the south island feature and again today, they were left a little gob smacked by the sheer arrogance and blinding acceleration of their star trotter as he raced away with the 3200m standing start feature.
Handled by Ford's son Clint, it was utter domination from Marcoola.
Unlike last year, the performance today didn’t completely shock anyone because most are acutely aware of the rich talent the Sundon six-year-old entire possesses.
In lead-up to the event, his form has been true and consistent but the barrier allowed punters to gain a juicy price about the speedy performer.
Race favourite Speeding Spur was backing-up following his Gr.1 FFA victory on Tuesday and was attempting to claim the Rowe Cup/Dominion double in the same year while join the other 17 trotters to claim the Cup week double.
With Alderbeck, Temporale and Hey Yo all beginning quickly and vying for the early supremacy, Speeding Spur stepped safely and landed in a handy spot just behind the leaders.
Classy mare Harriet Of Mot galloped away badly and lost considerable ground.
Within the first lap, changes swept over the field with the highly fancied Great Things Happen finding the lead while Lemond was left parked without cover and Speeding Spur sitting right on his back.
The tempo was dawdling with Great Things Happen and driver Gavin Smith walking the big field through the opening lap.
The lead time was covered in 2:08.1.
Speeding Spur made a move around the 1200m point and parked outside Great Things Happen while Ronald J soon followed and raced outside the leader.
The first half was covered in 29.2 and 31.7 seconds.
Entering the back straight, Great Things Happen led Ronald J while Speeding Spur sat poised ready to strike.
Passing the 1000m point, driver Clint Ford made his move with Marcoola and allowed him to stride forward three wide and his run was unimpeded.
And he came with a rush as he built massive momentum.
The third quarter was covered in 29.7 seconds.
With his blinding acceleration, Marcoola surged to the lead and soon opened up the field and raced away to lead by a clear margin entering the home straight.
Ford kept his charge focused as Australian trotter Kyvalley Blur started to charge down the outside but the margin was too great.
Marcoola scored convincingly and registered a margin of 4 lengths from Kyvalley Blur with a further 2.75 lengths back to Lemond in third while Speeding Spur finished fourth.
The winning time was 4:08 – a mile rate of 2:04.6 with a final split of 28.7 seconds.
Yet again, it was time for celebration for the Ford family.
“He felt really good and there was some cat and mouse tactics from Anthony (Butt – Kyvalley Blur) and Tony (Herlihy – Temporale) and I just went for it. He trotted great and showed great speed but I kept thinking they were coming and I kept checking but he did it well.” Driver Clint Ford said.
Marcoola is raced in partnership by Clint and his father Ken.
The last time a trainer prepared back to back winners in the Dominion was Tim Butt back in 2003/04 after Take A Moment and Lyell Creek proved triumphant.
Interestingly, Marcoola is closely related to Lyell Creek and takes his record to 14 wins from 31 starts while his earnings now exceed $410,000.
The next leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters is the $150,000 Inter Dominion in Melbourne on December 15.