THE Gold Tiara and Gold Bracelet are the only feature races on the Bathurst Carnival’s program that have eluded Ellalong horseman Michael Formosa.
So, it is no surprise that he has been named the 2022 Gold Crown Honouree.
Formosa has supported the carnival for the past two decades and has consistently met with success throughout the years.
“It is absolutely humbling to be named the honouree of such an amazing carnival,” said Formosa.
“To be honest, when Danny Dwyer contacted me to advise that his committee had selected me as this year’s honouree I was in a state of disbelief.
“The magnitude of such an honour, having my name placed beside some of harness racing’s greatest contributors and legends was a little bit hard to absorb.
“But I guess I have been a consistent supporter and was fortunate to win their Gold Crown, which is the carnival’s signature race.
“I have consistently competed at the Bathurst Carnival for more than 20 years now and won the Crown in 2012 with Ultimate Art.
“Throughout the years I have won most of the feature races with the Tiara and Bracelet being the only two that have eluded me.
“I went to the yearling sales this year and bought some fillies with the express purpose of giving myself a chance to win those races in the future.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have any young ones for the carnival, but I am taking two horses down for the Honouree Stakes.
“Hopefully they will perform well in the heats tonight and make it through to next week’s final.”
It is a quality 10-race program at Bathurst tonight made up of four heats of the Honouree Stakes, five heats of the Gold Tiara as well as the Hondo Grattan Sprint.
While Formosa’s pair Military Man (Heat One) and Ultimate Force (Heat Three) are definite chances in the series named in his honour, there are a lot of smart pacers sprinkled through the four heats, the most prominent being classy mare Michelle Lee Mac from the McDowell stable.
The Mat Rue-trained Miss Exclusive is one of many local hopes in the Gold Tiara Series.
She has race experience on her side which includes two wins and two placings from her five outings. Among those efforts was a creditable second in the Pink Bonnet at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
- MICK DUMESNY