TALENTED young driver Todd McCarthy has gone from being a potential bystander to being thrust into the midst of the action.
Contemplating a Eurotrip with some friends to watch the Elitloppet, McCarthy has been given the “once in a lifetime” opportunity to drive Australian representative Maori Time in the famed event.
McCarthy has only partnered the squaregaiter once, which resulted in the pair capturing the New South Wales Trotters’ Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle in an Australasian record 1:51.5 last February.
“I’ve never been to Europe and had been considering going to watch the race and now will be driving in it…it’s amazing,” McCarthy said.
“It’s huge! I was so thrilled when I was asked to drive her.
“I head over on Thursday, May 24, get there on Friday morning and drive her on the Sunday.”
Maori Time is scheduled to fly out from Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport on Wednesday night, with trainer Brent Lilley stating the Elitloppet will double as the mare’s racing swansong.
The daughter of Pegasus Spur will be the first Australian-trained squaregaiter to head to Europe since Sundons Gift ran sixth in his heat in 2009.
“She has a big task ahead and everyone knows that,” McCarthy said. “If she can put something together like she did at Menangle she won’t disgrace herself, even against the world’s best.
“You’ve got to also take into account how far she is travelling, the change in environment and racing style.
“Hopefully can handle it and be at her best when it’s time to race.”