ONE of the modern day greats will be honoured at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Trained locally by champion horseman John McCarthy, Be Good Johnny was among the stars of his era, winning five Group Ones, while figuring among the placings in another five.
The son of Fake Left also captured four Group Twos and three Group Threes.
Retired with 48 wins, Be Good Johnny registered 37 of those victories at Albion Park.
Be Good Johnny is best remembered for becoming just the fifth Miracle Mile champion to successfully defend his title after he secured Australasia’s premier speed test around Harold Park in 2005 and ’06.
Although his glory days on the racetrack are well behind him, Be Good Johnny is still going strong as he spends his time roaming a paddock at McCarthy’s property.
In fact, despite being a ‘greybeard’ at 20-years, Be Good Johnny’s appearance gives the impression he is just a good training session away from racing.
“He is as fit as a fiddle for his age,” McCarthy said. “He’s carrying a bit of weight compared to his prime, like most of us old fellas do, but he’s healthy, happy and enjoying life.”
“He was a great horse and still is.
“He won about half a dozen Group Ones, but you can’t go past the Miracle Miles as his biggest wins.”
As for the feature in Be Good Johnny’s honour, stablemates One Change and Turn It Up are the pair to beat after drawing barriers one and two for trainer Vicki Rasmussen.
One Change boasts five wins and a second since arriving from New Zealand where he was co-trained by Rasmussen’s sister Natalie and Mark Purdon.
Set to take on older rivals, the three-year-old has an outstanding record of 13 wins and seven placings from 20 starts, with his victories including five Group Ones.
Also prepared by the power couple before being sent across the Tasman, Turn It Up has had two local starts for a third and win.
Turn It Up was touted as a Grand Circuit prospect before injury struck following his victory in the Emerald Jewels in June 2019.
The son of former top pacer Courage Under Fire boasts an imposing record of 12 wins and five placings from 17 starts for earnings of $446,724.
Turn It Up’s victories include three Group Ones.