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Sparkling Options

by Adam Hamilton

This is no pipedream.

Victorian dairy farmers John and Mary Meade are poised to snap-up an invitation to tackle the world’s best trotters in New York later this year with stable star Sparkling Success.

Harness Racing Australia’s CEO Andrew Kelly delivered the invitation for the $1.3 million Yonkers International Trot on behalf of the New York track this week.

Most thought it would be a bridge too far for the Meade’s, but no so.

“We want to go. And we are going at this stage,” Mary Meade said. “As John said, we’ll never get another chance like this.

“And we have family in the US. Our son and his family live in Virginia and are so excited about us having our horse racing over there.”

Sparkling Success, winner of the Great Southern Star three starts back, has one more target this campaign before sights are set on the US trip.

That’s tomorrow (Saturday) night’s $100,000 Group 1 Australian Trotting Grand Prix (2240m) at Melton.

Sparkling Success will need to show better manners than when he broke early as a hot favourite, but recovered remarkably well for a huge third in last week’s Knight Pistol Trot at Cranbourne.

“It was his first run at Cranbourne and people told us that corner he broke on is a bit notorious,” Mary said. “We thought his run was fantastic after the break and he seems very well this week.”

Sparkling Success is a $1.70 favourite on the Aussie TAB despite drawing outside the front (gate seven).

“After this he’s out for a break and then comes back to prepare for the US trip,” Mary said.

Anthony Butt, who boasts plenty of US experience through the likes of Lyell Creek and Under Cover Lover, has spoken in-depth with the Meades about the trip.

“Anthony has been great. He thinks we need at least a couple of lead-up runs here and we must get to the US at least a month before the race to acclimatise, so that’s the plan,” Mary said.

“We aren’t allowed to race there before the big race, but we can afterwards if we choose.

“So we’ll get across early to settle in and maybe trial him.”