By PAUL DOLAN
THE spectacular win by the Leanne Hall-trained Extra Malt at Albion Park recently, coming from last to score over 520 metres, got a lot of chins wagging.
The win, wearing the blue rug, no doubt had many people saying it’s the biggest run they have ever seen. It prompted me to think of some wins that I either called or watched and were of a similar nature.
The 1998 National Sprint Championship grand final at Cannington is a race I can picture clearly to this day. The Jane Carruthers-trained Rapid Journey was sixth coming to the home turn but, as if he had a jockey on his back, weaved his way through the field to score. They were top class chasers that he hauled in – Bula Boy, Faithful Hawk, Hotshot and Reggemite among them.
Rapid Journey’s win in the 1998 Queensland Cup at Beenleigh was memorable too, but not because the dog stormed home to score. He jumped straight to the front from box one and had lure driver Bevan Williamson with the throttle at full bore – something he had never had to do before when driving a race there. Rapid Journey ran a track record of 31.75. It was the 50th running of the Queensland Cup and was called the Golden Queensland Cup that year. How appropriate!
Classy Marcy’s win in the 1994 Vince Curry Maiden final at Ipswich was stunning. She was last along the back stretch but got up to score, beating Small Rush and Pretty Nelson. Her trainer was the late Gary Ralph. Classy Marcy went on to be a really good stayer, which would not surprise anyone who saw her win that Vince Curry.
The win by the Tina Womann-trained Trewly Special in the 2004 Winter Carnival Cup at Albion Park was just as the dog’s name would suggest – very special. The son of Brett Lee and Chloe Jones was last along the back stretch and staged a huge run to gun down the leaders. The great Bogie Leigh finished second. Nobody ever ran her down, nobody. Well, except for Trewly Special that night! The very talented Oxley Fawn finished third and Surf Lorian was fourth. How’s that for a bit of depth to the race?
I was in Melbourne in the year 2000 and attended the Sandown Cup. The win by the Simon Barker-trained Osti’s Joker was another example of an unbelievable last-to-first performance. It had the locals comparing the dog to the great Bold Trease. The only reason I haven’t put Bold Trease on this list is because I never saw him in the flesh – only on television.
The John and Glenda Dart-trained Miss Grub staged some wonderful last-to-first performances in her career. As did, more recently, Bill and Cindy Elson’s Cyndie’s Magic. Even when they were running last at some point of a race, you never discarded them as a winning chance.
We all have our special memories, these are some of mine.