Johnny Mac’s Emotional Gore Cup Win
By Jonny Turner
Johnny Mac sped to victory in yesterday’s Gore Cup to deliver Tyler Dewe a harness racing highlight which was tinged with sadness.
Dewe runs the Southland branch of trainer Michael House’s nationwide operation and had Johnny Mac on song his classy performance in the 2750m grass track feature.
Aided by a pinpoint Blair Orange drive, the pacer reeled off a sensational 56.5sec last 800m on grass to hold out placegetters Plutonium Lady and Memphis Tennessee.
The win is one of the biggest House and Dewe have produced since House set up his southern base around 18 months ago.
It was a also a timely one for Dewe after a tough month, following the death of his father, Mark Dewe.
“It has been a couple of tough weeks for the barn, so this is a pretty good Christmas present,” Dewe said.
“My old man passed away at the start of the month and he loved this horse.”
“It was really satisfying, he would have loved that.”
House’s southern team have been in excellent form recently, regularly making the winner’s circle at southern meetings.
Dewe admitted the responsibility of being in charge of a team of horses had its challenges, but it was also very rewarding.
“It is very challenging for someone so young – I am only 25 – but it is very rewarding.”
Plenty of cheers rang out from the Gore crowd when King Cassidy took out the next event on the Gore card, the Gore Trotters Cup.
In his 100th start, the eight-year-old hit the lead on the home turn and kept delivering under the urgings of driver Sheree Tomlinson to hand trainer Chris Gerken a big win on his home track.
King Cassidy produced an excellent second in the feature trot on Wairio Cup Day leading into his victory.
The trotter is clearly producing some of the best form of his career, which Gerken puts down his veteran being given a little bit of TLC.
“He is holding his condition a lot better now, we don’t fast work him a lot,” the trainer said.
“I try to space his races a wee bit and being an old fella, he seems to appreciate not racing week in and week out.”
Duke Of Cornwall’s star continued to rise when he took out yesterday’s two and three-year-old feature.
The Lauren Pearson trained pacer worked to an early lead before fighting off the line up of smart three-year-olds that chased him down the Gore straight.
Driver Matthew Williamson could not have been more impressed with the pacer.
“He is a very nice horse, he is probably never going to win by big margins but he keeps lifting when they get near him.”
With yesterday’s three features being run over newly established 2750m and 1750m distances on the Gore grass and each winner running the fastest times of the day over those distances, Johnny Mac, King Cassidy and Duke Of Cornwall each went home track record holders.