Leap Will Chase Fame At Home

27 March 2024 | Adam Hamilton
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Leap To Fame ID23 Presentation

Leap To Fame ID23 Presentation Photo by Dan Costello

CHAMPION Queensland pacer Leap To Fame is staying home.

Owner Kevin Seymour revealed he had knocked back several recent lucrative offers to take on the world's best pacers in the USA and will keep Leap To Fame here to target the riches of Queensland's Constellations in July.

Seymour's decision is also driven by a want for the pacing sensation to continue to drive renewed interest and publicity for harness racing, especially in his home state.

"Don't worry. There's a deep-down feeling of, 'Gee, wouldn't it be good to go to the US and see if he can beat the best in the world? '" Seymour admitted. But the head rules the heart on this one, and the cons outweigh the pros."

It's clear Seymour has thought seriously about it, reaching out to his many contacts, including successful US trainer Ross Croghan, for advice.

Noel Daley, who, like Croghan, is Australian-born, is another who has suggested Seymour should keep Leap To Fame Down Under.

"The first thing that struck me is how much awareness there is about Leap To Fame in the US. Everybody I've had contact with or who has reached out to me tells me he's big news over there, too," Seymour said.

"Ross (Croghan) emailed after his Miracle Mile win, saying he was the talk of racing in the US. He said horses don't perform any better than Leap To Fame did that night. He pleaded with me to leave the horse here. Ross said we're beating many of the best already and don't have anything to prove.

"Even last week, Noel (Daley) was on the Brisbane radio pretty much saying what Ross did. You've got to respect and listen to guys like them, who know the industry here and over there."

Leap To Fame is taking a break after his historic Miracle Mile win on March 9. He will return to racing in late May with a view to Group 1 races like the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in July.

It's all part of Seymour's broader view of what Leap To Fame has and can continue to do for Australian harness racing.

"It's not what the sport can do for us, but what we can do for the sport," Seymour said. "That's why we've taken to places like Cranbourne and Newcastle and Redcliffe up here … to take him to the people."

"The number of people from interstate and overseas who have written to us about him is incredible. It really hit home the other day when Kay (Seymour's wife) and I were at the local shopping centre and several people came up to us asking us about Leap To Fame and saying how much they loved him."

"I don't think there are many people in Queensland who wouldn't know who Leap To Fame is, and it has been a long time since we've been able to say that about a horse. I think he can spark a real resurgence in harness racing, especially in Queensland."

Leap To Fame looks set to race internationally, but only as far as NZ for the iconic Group 1 NZ Cup at Addington in Christchurch on November 12.

"The NZ Cup is a special race, and it's a very special race day," Seymour said. 

"There's nothing bigger in this part of the world than the NZ Cup."

"It's two-fold for us. It's another great chance to take him to the people, a new audience, a harness racing-loving audience in NZ."

·      Adam Hamilton is a paid contributor writing on harness racing for News Corp.

 

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