Trainer David Harrison took the accolades on AFL Grand Final Day at Belmont on Saturday, saddling up a race day double.
The irony was there for all to see – the forecast for the Grand Final was bleak – showers, storms and hail on what would be a typical “grey” Melbourne day. Belmont on the other hand was fine and sunny, but it would be Harrison’s two grey geldings McScar and McBlitzem who would steal the show locally.
Jockey Shaun O’Donnell made the most of the handy going, positioning the 6yo McFlirt gelding McScar ($6.50) right into the box seat upon release in the playeronline.com.au HCP 1400m. The Kalgoorlie trained Sonny Biscay ($5.00) took up the running early in proceedings, setting some fast early sectionals in a vain attempt to run its rivals off their feet. Entering the final bend it became obvious that Sonny Biscay had run its race, as McScar checked off its heels, and made a dash for the finish line. All eyes then switched to the resuming Maschino ($4.40), known for its dazzling finish – and finish he did. But McScar dug deep, holding off the fighting Maschino by ¾ length, with WA Oaks victor Pop Culture ($7.50) running on into third a further 2 lengths in arrears.
Paul Harvey must have noticed the leader/handy bias Belmont track, as he shot the 5yo McFlirt gelding McBlitzam ($3.00) straight to the front in the Vale Maurie Boyd HCP 1400m. It would be a chaotic race, as long shot Rontomdan ($101.00) managed to inconvenience just about every other horse in the race, allowing McBlitzam to extend his lead entering the final 400m. But the swoopers were not done with yet, as Wookah ($6.50) took a dream rails run charging at McBlitzam late to go down by an unforgiving nose. Milken Whiskey ($21.00) also finished off well, a further length away in third. Race favourite and “victim” Dash For Home ($2.70) could not sustain its run after being collected by the rouge runner at the 600m mark, having to settle for fourth.
Harvey had a stellar day in the saddle, with a riding treble, having saluted in the opener with the smart Petrenui ($1.45 fav), and would charge home Starlight Lady ($3.50) from eighth on the turn for a half-length landslide in the PR Festival HCP 2200m.
Mc Flirt stands at Mungrup Stud and is excellent value at $3,300 (inc GST).