ACE reinsman Brad Hewitt scored one of the biggest wins of his career when outsider Rockin Marty stunned the favourites with success in this afternoon’s $150,000 Breeders Challenge for 3YO colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
The son of American sire Pet Rock rated a slashing 1:50.8 to hold off the desperately unlucky Lochinvar Art (David Moran) by a head with Hardhitter (Luke McCarthy) three-metres back in third place.
While Lochinvar Art may have been the hard-luck story of the race, it was a welcome change of fortunes for Rockin Marty, who has been running strong races without being able to break through during the heats and semis of this elite series.
It was an emotional moment for Hewitt as he accepted the trophy:
“Mum and Dad have been in this industry their whole lives and to qualify two horses for this final and then to go out and win it was truly something special,” he said.
“This is just unbelievable.
“To win a race like this is a dream come true.”
The earlier fillies’ final was also an exciting finale to that division of the Breeders Challenge. Indeed if you mention Breeders Challenge, the name Luke McCarthy usually rates a mention.
The former Bathurst reinsman has an amazing record in these feature races, and he was at it again today when he scored his second Group 1 win of the afternoon, scoring with No Win No Feed in the $150,000 3YO fillies Breeders Challenge final.
No Win No Feed, a Group I winner at Bathurst earlier this season, put the writing on the wall that she was returning to her best form with a slick third to Keayang Liberty at Menangle last week in the semi-finals.
And No Win No Feed’s trainer Craig Cross was quietly confident he had the filly back to her best for the $150,000 final at Menangle today.
Taken back out of the mobile, McCarthy gave the filly plenty of time to find her feet and then gained a saloon passage into the action with a three-wide trail up before working to the deathseat outside of leader and race favourite Keayang Liberty.
With a slick third split of 27.2s, No Win No Feed put paid to the favourite turning for home before holding off a late-charge from Road To Mecca with the plucky little filly Myra Dawn a strong third.
“You never get tired of winning Breeders Challenge races,” grinned Luke’s wife Belinda McCarthy as Luke rushed to drive in the next feature while trainer Craig Cross was busy in the car park changing a flat tyre on their float.