December 5, 2021 Michael Court
SAM NABS FINAL SPOT IN GRAND FINAL WITH MIGHTY SECOND PLACING
HEAT 9 TAB INTER DOMINION CHAMPION SHIP
IT wasn’t a win, but Bathurst horseman Anthony Frisby probably deserved the drive of the night – even though he was beaten in the final round of the TAB Inter Dominion heats at Newcastle tonight.
OK, so the budding superstar Expensive Ego scored another outstanding win to secure his spot as one of the two unbeaten McCarthy stars to make it through to the final.
Yet seven-year-old gelding Our Uncle Sam had hardly been too impressive with his efforts in the first two round of heats.
So, the pressure was evident as he came into the final round against one of the series favourites.
Only a win or a second placing would give him a shot at getting through to next weekend’s Grand Final.
Our Uncle Sam did the rest, surging around to sit outside of Expensive Ego in the last lap before hanging with him all the way down the straight for a strong second, with Mach Dan third in a photo finish.
And it was that photo that decided the final horse into the Grand Final field.
McCarthy was naturally thrilled with Expensive Ego’s effort.
“That was a massive effort to fight off the others,” said the champion reinsman.
“I didn’t even need to pull the blinders in the straight as he fended them all off in the run home.”
Expensive Ego was almost as impressive as King Of Swing was in the earlier track-record effort.
He worked hard to find the front in a 59.2 opening half of the mile with quarters of 27.7 and 31.5 and when the charges came from back in the field, he put up a 28.8 third quarter and simply refused to surrender in the straight with a 27.2 final quarter for a mile rate of 1:54.3.
While King Of Swing is widely acknowledged as the best pacer in Australia now, Expensive Ego must be closing fast.
As racecaller Fred Hastings marvelled as they crossed the line: “If this horse doesn’t win this Inter Dominion Championship, then he’ll probably win the next one.”
Anybody who watched that win at Newcastle tonight would have to agree.