Todd's dream trip
By Adam Hamilton
YOUNG gun Aussie driver Todd McCarthy has already started doing homework.
McCarthy is still pinching himself after confirmation he will take the reins on flying Aussie mare Maori Time against the world’s best trotters in the iconic Elitlopp Trot in Stockholm, Sweden later this month.
“It’s an amazing opportunity. I follow the big international races and I’ve always been in awe of how incredible the Elitlopp looks. Now I’m going to be part of it,” he said.
“I took some time over the weekend to go back and loo at some replays of the heats and finals. I can’t wait to get there.”
Owner Fred Crews and trainer Brent Lilley opted for McCarthy as the driver thanks to his one and only steer on Maori Time at Menangle. It resulted in a breathtaking front-running win in a record-smashing 1min51.5sec mile in the Group 1 Trotters’ Mile back on February 24.
“We got along well that day and she showed the sort of time she can run. She felt magic,” McCarthy said.
“I know how hard a challenge this will be. These are the best trotters in the world, many of them in their own backyard, and in one of the great races.
“Every horse in the series has to be a star in its own right just to make it that far.
“Realistically, if she can finish top four in her heat and make the final she will have done an amazing job.”
The Elitlopp is somewhat unique in that two heats are held early in the day and the first four home in each heat contest the final just two hours later.
“If she arrives there safe and sound and can show the form she did at Menangle, running the two races in a day won’t bother her,” McCarthy said.
Maori Time showed she was over a bout of atrial fibrillation when she sparkled in a Maryborough trial last Sunday.
“The trial was brilliant. She went her last mile in 1min55.9sec and home in 56sec. She’s off to Sweden,” Crews beamed.
The Elitlopp is run at Stockholm’s Solvalla track on Sunday, May 25.