Champion trotter Just Believe became the first Australian bred trotter to earn $1 million in prizemoney after taking out the V. L. Dullard Cup at Melton on Saturday night.
Sent out a prohibitive $1.08 favourite, Just Believe worked to the lead with 1600 metres to travel and it was left to outstanding mare Queen Elida to issue a challenge with 400 metres to travel.
Queen Elida got to the wheel of the Just Believe on straightening, however with Greg Sugars barely moving a muscle, Just Believe reeled off a slick 26.8 last 400 metres to score with plenty in reserve by two metres from Queen Elida.
“He’s just a wonderful horse and keeps getting the job done. he just loves racing and is such a pleasure to be around,“ Sugars said.
“It’s been such a wonderful ride with this horse, it’s not only his race track deeds and what he’s achieved but its been the support we’ve received from right around the world and the people are
really behind him and want to see him do well.
Sugars said the race provided a perfect final hit out in preparation for next week’s Group 1 Yabby Dam Farms Great Southern Star.
“Tonight you couldn’t have scripted it any better for him and it was just a beautiful little hit out to have him cherry ripe for next week,” he said.
Ironically, the win was Just Believes first success in the V. L. Dullard Cup after finishing third behind New Zealand trotter Majestic Man in the race last year.
The win was the Yabby Dam Farms bred eight-year-old’s 25th from 67 race starts.
Half an hour later Just Believe’s stable mate Better Eclipse too passed $1 million in stake earnings after saluting in the Casey Classic completing a memorable night for Jess Tubbs’ and Greg Sugars’ Larajay
Sugars opted to surrender the lead to Bulletproof Boy on the $1.45 favourite and await his chances along the sprint lane while his main danger the Mark Purdon trained Don’t Stop Dreaming landed in
the one out one back trail.
Purdon made his move approaching the home turn and Don’t Stop Dreaming quickly loomed up ominously, however Sugars was able to ease out off the back of the leader and Better Eclipse
sprinted quickly to outlast the Kiwi by half a head.
“He’s a great horse and for a horse who has just earned $1m he has probably flown under the radar for most of his career and has just kept getting the job done,” he said.
“He’s a wonderful horse and it was a great hit out for him tonight and hopefully there’s bigger things to come next week.