THERE was only a nose in it, but the powerful David Aiken stable denied Team McCarthy a clean sweep of the round one heats at this year’s TAB Inter Dominion when Malcolms Rhythm scored an exciting win.
It took the judge a minute or two to decide that the Josh Aiken-driven Malcolms Rhythm had beaten Luke and Belinda McCarthy’s ‘hat-trick’ hope Spirit Of St Louis by the barest possible margin, with the plucky Darren Binskin trained and driven Line Up an outstanding third after racing without cover for the final lap of the 2300m.
Victorian trainer David Aiken admitted he might never find another horse like his previous champion Lennytheshark.
But he keeps coming up with horses keen to give him their best.
He has arrived at Menangle with Victoria Cup winner Max Delight as well as Malcolms Rhythm, who was a surprise winner of the third Inter Dom heat at Menangle.
“Malcolms Rhythm is owned by Dominic Martello, who is one of my best owners so this was a special win,” said Aiken senior.
“We had this horse up here a couple of months ago and he backed up a couple of times at Menangle so I’m pretty confident he’ll get through the series OK.”
Aiken says there’s no secret to his training powers: “I just get offered some nice horses, simple as that,” he said.
“Lennytheshark was extra special – he really was a once in a lifetime horse.
“Max Delight is more than handy; he won the Victoria Cup and Malcolms Rhythm goes pretty well too.
“They might not possess that x-factor like Lenny but if the races are run to suit and they get the right run, they can put themselves right into the action.”
Aiken’s son Josh was just as excited with his win.
“I knew it was close – I wasn’t certain we’d won,” he said.
“He’s the sort of horse that loves this trip and I think if he can make the final the 3000m will suit him even more.
“We thought we’d come out and have a look and see how things panned out. It couldn’t have been better.”
The winner rated 1:55.1 in scoring that narrow victory while Line Up’s run was huge too with Darren Binskin coming from the tail of the field with a lap to go and Line Up never shirked his task all the way to the line.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL CLUB MENANGLE RACING MANAGER DAVID WONSON ON TELEPHONE 0438-398-251.