Grimson goes back-to-back at IDs

By Adam Hamilton

Jason Grimson capped one of harness racing’s most amazing 12 months when he snared back-to-back in Inter Dominion pacing final wins at Melton last night.

Few had heard of Grimson this time last year when he won the Menangle Inter Dominion final on protest with despised outsider Boncel Benjamin.

Since then, he’s emerged as a major Group 1 open-class giant-killer through the Majestic Cruiser and now I Cast No Shadow.

Last night’s upset win with I Cast No Shadow was his fifth open-class Group 1 training win in the past 12 months and you can add to that seconds in the NZ Cup and NZ Free-For-All.

Despite Majestic Cruiser struggling through the series and missing the final, Grimson lifted former Kiwi and Victorian pacer I Cast No Shadow to upstage his rivals as a $16 shot.

“I glad we didn’t have to do in the stewards’ room tonight,” Grimson said. “I gave him a great winning chance when he drew the pole.”

Grimson revealed a gear change played a huge role.

“Cam (Hart, driver) said he loomed up to win, but didn’t finish it off last week so I took the pull-down blinds off. He certainly hit the line well tonight,” he said.

It was a huge result NSW Riverina region with Grimson and 23-year-old driver Cam Hart both coming from there.

“Two boys from the Riverina … it’s really special to share this win with Jason (Grimson) as he’s been such a terrific supporter and we’re great mates,” Hart said.

“I grew-up in Junee dreaming of winning this race as a kid and to do it so early in my career is amazing.

“The credit goes to Jason. He was confident going into it. He’s such a good horseman, that gear change he made really did make all the difference. He was a much sharper horse tonight.”

Hart became the third member of his family to win an Inter Dominion. His great grandfather George Harpley trained Welcome Advice to win in 1972. And the driver was his great uncle, Allan Harpley.

Owner Diane Reilly was overcome with emotion at winning the sport’s biggest race after 60 years involved in the industry.

“I was just happy to have a runner in the final, but Jason told me we could win it. I’ve had 60 years in the game, I can relax now, I’ve won the ultimate,” she said.

It was a night of back-to-backs with Greg Sugars driving the Inter Dominion trotting winner for the second successive year.

Maori Law won for Team Brosnan last year, but this year meant so much more when Sugars teamed with his wife, Jess, and their families to win with Just Believe.

Ironically, Just Believe ran third in last year’s final for trainer Mick Hughes, who then retired and recommended the trotter move to Tubbs and Sugars.

“This is just so special,” Sugars said. “Even when he drew badly, we thought he’s really thrived through the series and would be hard to beat.

“I knew I’d have to make a move and sit parked and then it was a balancing act between beating the leader, but not bringing the other main dangers like Queen Elida ad Mufasa Metro into it.”

Just Believe nabbed a gallant leader Majestuoso in the last two strides to win.

“I can’t believe it,” Tubbs said. “It’s such a family effort at our stable and that makes it so special.

“He tries his guts out this horse and to go through the series unbeaten is a huge effort.”

Tubbs became just the third female to train an Inter Dominion trotting final winner, following Michelle Wallis (Delft in 2006) and Natalie Rasmussen with Mark Purdon (Winterfell in 2019).

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