QUEENSLAND’S champion pacer Leap To Fame ticked another box in a career destined for greatness with a big Grand Circuit victory on foreign soil in Saturday night’s SENTrack A G Hunter Cup.
The megastar five-year-old backed up his Inter Dominion triumph of mid-December with a bold front-running display in the $500,000 time-honoured feature at Melton.
The result took the son of Bettors Delight’s earnings past $2million and his career record to 32 wins from 42 starts.
“I’ve been in the sport a long time and it’s taken a long time to get to some of these great races, but I’m so pleased to finally have a horse that can do what he’s doing,” trainer-driver Grant Dixon said after his first Hunter Cup success.
“It’s great to have the ride with Kevin and Kay (Seymour) because obviously they have been in the sport a long time too and they’ve entrusted me with this horse.”
Dixon bided his time from a wide front-row draw, but eventually put the pressure on early leader Catch A Wave and strode to the front shortly after the winning post the first time.
He then controlled the race from the top and shot for home into the straight, gripping on to defeat New Zealand raider Dont Stop Dreaming by 1.6m.
“I thought he (Catch A Wave) would be happy to sit on me and he didn’t try to hold me out too much,” Dixon said.
“We kicked along at a reasonable pace, and I was just pleased he was able to hold on.”
Kevin Seymour was on-track to witness the victory, telling Gareth Hall “you can’t imagine what a thrill it would be” to win Victoria’s premier pacing event.
“It’s a great journey,” he said.
“At our age, almost touching 84 which is a bit long in the tooth, but we’ve been waiting the entire time we’ve been in the sport to get a nice Australian-bred horse.
“We had Mr Feelgood, but it was a little bit different.
“I have to pay tribute to my partner, Peter O’Shea. He’s a thorough gentleman and you could not ask for a better partner.”
The Cranbourne Pacing Cup next Saturday night remains a firm possibility for Leap To Fame, who is also destined for a shot at March’s Miracle Mile in Sydney.
- HRV Media