FROM a youngster who once preferred to be out riding motor bikes – to a prominent harness racing driver about to embark on an international career, Todd McCarthy has covered a lot of territory in the past 10 years.
The youngest of the highly-regarded McCarthy brothers, Todd is leaving Australian shores to try his hand in the US, following in the footsteps of his older sibling Andy, who is now rated in the top echelon of drivers in North America.
“I am moving over there and will live with Andy and his family in New Jersey,” said Todd.
“It is going to be a real challenge, I have no doubt about that.
“It is an ideal base as I can drive throughout the New Jersey area, including at Yonkers and The Meadowlands”.
Todd explained that from previous visits to the US, he met and had become friendly with owners and trainers who would give him drives and help him settle into life over there.
“But I am going there as an open book, with no preconceptions,” he said.
“I know I will need to have my head down and take advantage of every opportunity that I am afforded.
“I don’t expect that things will just come easily.”
Todd recalls his first drive in a race was on a pacer named Count The Cards to finish second at Brisbane’s Albion Park.
“He was also my first winner six weeks later on the Gold Coast in April, 2010,” said McCarthy.
That was the beginning of a decade filled with highlights for Todd, including his first Group One success aboard Frith in the 2016 Ladyship Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
But the runaway win aboard star Sydney pacer Tiger Tara in the 2018 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Melton holds a special place in Todd’s vast list of memorable moments.
“I am so grateful for the opportunities I have been given throughout Australasia and want people to know that I am not making this move for any reason other than to go on an adventure, to quench my desire to do something that is very exciting while I am still young,” he said.
“And I want to publicly thank every single owner, trainer, driver and administrator who has helped me along the way and given me the opportunity to develop my skills and grow as a person.
Ever the humble champion, McCarthy vowed that he will return to our shores “one day”.
– MICHAEL DUMESNY