EVERY now and then harness racing throws up a Cinderella story which makes people love the sport and even more than they already do and want to become more involved.
It took all day for that to occur in today’s NSW Breeders Challenge finals and there was no more popular winner than Elle Yeah, who gave Bigga (near Crookwell) trainer-driver Dennis Picker his first Group One success when he took out the four-year-old mares’ final at Tabcorp Park Menangle today.
While everyone expected odds-on favourite Cherry Stride to make a one-act affair of the $100,000 Group One, Picker certainly didn’t see it that way and came with a well-timed run in the straight to run down Cherry Stride to score by a neck on a 1:52.2 mile rate.
While Cherry Stride fought back strongly in the straight, Elle Yeah had done a lot less work and prevailed narrowly with unwanted outsider Rocknroll Emma running a plucky third.
“I’ve had a few horses with these owners over the past five or six years but I have to admit I never expected anything like this to eventuate,” grinned Picker.
“Yes, this is my first Group One and it is something I’ll remember for a long, long time to come.”
Owner-breeder Matt Nagle was just as overcome as Picker with the victory.
“I’m just stunned,” he said.
“This is incredible, unexpected and much appreciated . . . this has been a wonderful experience and I hope there are more times like these to come.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION TELEPHONE CLUB MENANGLE RACING MANAGER DAVID WONSON ON (02) 4645-2200.