McIlwrick claims treble at Winton
By Jonny Turner
Outstanding feats had to take a back seat when Dreams Are Free produced an incredible win at Winton on Sunday.
The two-year-old made headlines and sent social media into a spin with his remarkable recovery to win race 8.
But there was plenty more to celebrate at the meeting, including the winning treble of popular reinsman Rory McIlwrick.
McIlwrick is the right-hand man at Wayne Adams' stable, with the pair producing two starters for two winners on Sunday.
The first of those victories came with Claasee, who burst out of the pack to win race 1.
"Wayne was absolutely rapt with both horses winning," McIlwrick said.
"Claasee is just the perfect racehorse – she has all of the attributes you want in a horse.”
“She’s got a great attitude and gives it her all out there.”
“She has improved with racing, and we can only hope her ability will be as big as her heart as she keeps going.”
“It was a nice win; she showed some good dash to get over top of them."
Forever Arden overcame an early mistake to complete the Adams-McIlwrick double with his win in race 6.
After his early break, Forever Arden went on to lead at the bell, and he proved too slick for a strong maiden field.
"He has still got a few tricks to iron out; it is all in his head, and hopefully with a bit more time, he can do things right.”
“But he is a nice horse with good ability.”
“He will go to the unruly after making another mistake, but that may not be a bad thing because hopefully he can keep learning from there.”
“I am sure he will do a nice job once he figures it all out."
Forever Arden completed a driving treble for McIlwrick with the reinsman also guiding Airwaves to victory in race 4.
Showing his immense skill in the sulky, McIlwrick pulled the whip through to his left hand, much like James McDonald would when riding home a superstar galloper.
Under the reinsman’s urgings, the eight-year-old lifted when called upon to register the 100th training win of Craig Laurenson’s harness racing career.
"They came up to him, but Airwaves dug in and fought them off.”
“When they came at him, it was shades of Swayzee versus Akuta there for a moment, before he pulled away from them again.”
“The size of the motors involved might be a bit different, but Airwaves doesn’t lack any heart."
McIlwrick was rapt to be able to deliver Laurenson his 100th victory.
"We only just missed out on his hometrack last week, which would have been great.”
“But got there today, which is the main thing.”
“Craig and I go a long way back, and he has been great to me and great to drive for.”
“I am sure he will celebrate well with a couple of waters."