NO DOUBT there are hard driven competitors around the globe but it’s difficult to imagine any nationality being more competitive than Australians.
Be it sporting events, politics or arguing over two flies on a wall, Aussies love to compete and win.
As fierce as we are, we also accept winning isn’t always an option, which is why Australians also love anyone who does us proud on an international stage regardless of the arena.
That’s were Todd McCarthy fits in.
Heading to Sweden for the World Drivers’ Championship with grand dreams a fortnight ago, McCarthy’s campaign was more of a nightmare.
Receiving no luck with the draws – horses and barriers – the young star’s best result was a couple of placings.
Although he finished at the tail of the field, or you could say ‘Down Under’ on the points table, McCarthy wore the ‘green and gold’ with distinction on and off the track.
For the record, Rick Ebbinge from the Netherlands claimed the title of World Champion as American Yannick Gingras and local driver Ulf Ohlsson filled the placings.
“I didn’t have much joy on the track,” McCarthy said. “Luck was against me in the draws which made the going tough.
“It was a fantastic trip, an experience of a lifetime, and hopefully one day I can make the cut again and have better luck for Australia.”
Arriving home yesterday morning – and heading straight to Tabcorp Park Menangle to fulfil some driving engagements – McCarthy stated the biggest eye-opener was the differences in similarities.
“Once you’re out on the track it’s similar to here, but the whole aspect of their racing is so different,” McCarthy said. “Before and after a race it’s just completely different.
“Their horses are highly strung, more like thoroughbreds than standardbreds, so they don’t really have them in the parade ring the same way we do for example.
“Then after the race they will jog them straight back to the barn.”