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    Remarkable summer of glory continues Remarkable summer of glory continues

    JUST BELIEVE became the first Australian-bred trotter to earn $1million thanks to his Melton win tonight

    STAR trotter Just Believe’s golden summer just got even more grand as the Larajay Farm team and their merry band of owners added Australia’s... Remarkable summer of glory continues

    STAR trotter Just Believe’s golden summer just got even more grand as the Larajay Farm team and their merry band of owners added Australia’s richest trotting prize to their collection.

    In an amazing night of drama, full of quick decisions with massive consequences, Just Believe overcame a heat one scare and a final surprise to storm the line in the $300,000 Group One  and grab his place in Australian trotting immortality.

    It was a satisfying win for reinsman Greg Sugars, not just because the win was the result of making the right call in the run, but more so because what this horse has come to mean to him.

    “Not only is he obviously a very talented race horse, he’s just such a character around the stables,” Sugars said. “I just love watching him, what he does.

    “He’s been awesome and the owners are fantastic. There is obviously a great group of them and they are enjoying every minute.”

    They’ve had a stunning run since Just Believe joined Jess Tubbs’ stable in September, producing nine wins, four seconds and a third , including the nation’s two pinnacle trotting trophies – December’s Inter Dominion Trotting Championship and tonight’s Great Southern Star.

    The latter was hard earned, perhaps more for Just Believe’s heat one win as much as his final performance.

    Such was the front-line speed in the second heat of the night, it always appeared a top three finish would be required to advance from the first heat and so it proved.

    Just Believe had to claw four-wide to make ground on lead pair Plymouth Chubb and Queen Elida, eventually running within two metres of the former to finish second and book his final spot.

    Fortune then favoured the brave when his was the first name plucked at the barrier draw, enabling connections to choose gate one for the final.

    Queen Elida drew on to his back, Im Ready Jet, Aldebaran Zeus, Plymouth Chubb, Mufasa Metro, Majestuoso and Majestic Man to his outside. It was a star-studded front row, and when the gates opened at 9.05pm Aldebaran Zeus and Mufasa Metro were quickest out, with the latter finding an extra gear to slide to the front ahead of Just Believe.

    And it was immediately decision time for Sugars. With Majestic Man briskly looming up to slot into the breeze, Sugars had to decide whether to roll off the leader’s back and try and retake the lead or sit quiet and hope John Justice and Mufasa Metro could hold off the Kiwi’s challenge.

    Sugars briefly shied to Mufasa Metro’s outside at the 1400-metre mark before correcting back to the pegs.

    “I was a little unsure whether the retake may have been available, but I thought if that decision didn’t go in my favour (and I got left in the breeze) I was in a world of hurt then,” he said.

    “I had to rely on John taking me far enough and his horse ran a great race and that was the difference between winning and losing tonight.”

    While the pegline settled in formation, Im Ready Jet advanced to the breeze for the last lap and then Majestuoso ripped forward three-wide in the 29-second third quarter, setting up for a four-way sprint to the line.

    Just Believe got his nose in front at the 100 and then kicked away, winning from a superb Mufasa Metro with Im Ready Jet filling out the placings in a terrific go, which saw all 10 runners finish within 11 metres of the winner.

    “I had a lap full of horse (in the home straight),” Sugars said. “I just didn’t want the sprinters out wide to pinch a break on us, but John’s kept kicking on long enough to give us the run and he just exploded up the lane and won quite comfortably.”

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