Just Believe's "huge achievement" in winning the TAB Trot

By Michael Guerin, HRNZ

The little Aussie horse who has been all over the world Just Believe needed to produce a world class performance to win Friday’s $600,000 TAB Trot at Cambridge.

The Victorian overcame having the hardest run sitting parked to head home an Australian domination of the locals, clawing his way past Callmethebreeze and Queen Elida for a stunning victory in the 2200m mobile.

He was driven to perfection by Greg Sugars, whose wife Jess Tubbs trains Just Believe, as he allowed the pony-sized trotter to miss the early fireworks and then stride forward to get outside the leader at exactly the right time.

Callmethebreeze had held off Muscle Mountain’s surprise early bid for the lead and was travelling comfortably and while his early burn wouldn’t have helped him late the winner had to be brave, brilliant and willing to get over top of him.

If this was one of the best trotting fields assembled in New Zealand then to sit parked and win it Just Believe must have produced one of the greatest performances in our trotting history to win it.

“He is a very special horse, he just wants to win,” said Sugars.

“To come over here and do this is very special. I remember watching Kerryn (Manning, fellow Victorian) come over here to win a New Zealand Cup with Arden Rooney and thinking how special that would be.

“So to come here and beat the Kiwis on their own track is a huge achievement.”

While it was Just Believe’s first start in New Zealand he flew the Australian flag just as proudly in Sweden last year where he has three starts without winning but was twice placed against outstanding horses.

Since joining Tubbs and Sugars two years ago he has been transformed from little Aussie battler into a giant of his gait. The TAB Trot win was his crowing glory.

There had been some suggestion of him heading back to Sweden but he will instead stay here in New Zealand and tackle at least another two races and hammer home this very rare Australian domination of the Kiwis.

Natalie Rasmussen and Dorothy Cutts share a special moment following Natalie's win in the inaugural Dorothy Cutts Invitational.
Natalie Rasmussen and Dorothy Cutts share a special moment following Natalie's win in the inaugural Dorothy Cutts Invitational.

Earlier in programme Natalie Rasmussen, officially driving for Australia, won the trans-Tasman Dorothy Cutts Invitational with the Tony Herlihy-trained Skipper.

Rasmussen went to the front mid race and rallied when it mattered to hold out a fast finishing Hugotastic.

The Invitational is a new race run to celebrate Dorothy Cutts, who won this country's first totalisator race against the male drivers, at Cambridge in 1979.


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