EVERY now and then harness racing delivers a Cinderella story which reminds people how much they love the sport and the reason to be involved.
One of those instances occur in today’s New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge Final for four-year-old mares when Elle Yeah provided Bigga trainer-driver Dennis Picker with his first Group One success at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
While everyone expected odds-on favourite Cherry Stride to turn the feature into a one-act affair, Picker turned the punters’ fairytale into a night mare when he came with a well-timed run to score by a neck from Cherry Stride a 1:52.2 over a mile.
Rank outsider Rocknroll Emma added the upset theme when seven metres away third.
“I’ve had a few horses with these owners over the past five or six years, but I have to admit I never expected anything like this to eventuate,” grinned Picker.
“Yes, this is my first Group One and it is something I’ll remember for a long, long time to come.”
Owner-breeder Matt Nagle was just as overcome as Picker with the victory.
“I’m just stunned,” Nagle said. “This is incredible, unexpected and much appreciated . . . this has been a wonderful experience and I hope there are more times like these to come.”