First Group 1 for Tony Cameron in Northern Trotting Derby

By Michael Guerin

It was the perfect first Group 1 driving success for Tony Cameron at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

The popular northern horseman stepped into the big time when Inasinglemoment flashed past Look Top Da Stars in the $110,000 Breckon Farms Northern Trotting Derby, with hot favourite Empire City a luckless third.

But nobody in the stabling area was moaning about things as trivial as punting and racing luck because the Inasinglemoment team is a popular one.

Trained by Tony Herlihy he is part-owned by Suzanne Herlihy and long-time stable employee Chantelle Lawson, who has also made a good name for herself through her racing photography work.

So the little filly with the fast feet may not have been the punter’s elect but there was plenty of backslapping and congratulations going on.

Much of it was for Cameron, Herlihy’s right-hand man who has overcome more than most on his first trip to the Group 1 winner’s circle.

It has been 15 years since the then 21-year-old had to overcome Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and he has developed into one of the north’s most under-rated drivers since.

That has of course been with the support of the Herlihys and some of Cameron’s greatest moments have been on trotters like old mate Temporale.

So for his first Group 1 to be at Alexandra Park on a Herlihy-trained and owned trotter, with a long-term workmate like Lawson in the ownership, it could hardly have been better for Cameron.

“It is very cool, especially with Tony and Suzanne involved and I have to thank Tony for leaving me on when he could have driven her himself,” says Cameron.

“She is a horse I have always liked, she has really good speed but can follow a quick speed.”

Those attributes were especially useful in a national-record run Derby with Inasinglemoment out of the early burn and able to charge late when manners, tiredness and bad luck took others out of play.

But while that may not sound over-flattering of the winner the reality is she has come from being totally unheralded starting this campaign, having only had one start last winter, to being a Derby winner.

Herlihy will now put her in the paddock and decide how to tackle the busy second half of 2024 but being well-bred Inasinglemoment already has her broodmare career secure.

And her special place in the heart of Cameron, Lawson and the Herlihys.

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