Herlihy strikes quinella in flying mile

Tony Herlihy-trained trotters ran 1-2 in the feature at the Cambridge Raceway on Christmas Eve - Trish Dunell
Tony Herlihy-trained trotters ran 1-2 in the feature at the Cambridge Raceway on Christmas Eve

Trish Dunell

Christmas came a little early for Tony Herlihy this year after he quinellaed the Gr.2 Group 1 Turf Bar Trotters Flying Mile (1609m) at Cambridge Raceway on Monday night.

The Papakura horseman brought The Almighty Johnson and Temporale south to contest the feature mile on Christmas Eve, with the pair dominating proceedings.

The Almighty Johnson led for the majority of the race after flying the gates from barrier two, while Herlihy applied pressure into the race at the 800m mark when he sent Temporale forward to sit outside the leader.

The pressure told on a number of runners in the home straight, with Lemond and Amaretto Sun breaking, while Temporale ran away with the race, winning by 1-1/2 lengths over his stablemate.

“It worked out great for us, a couple of the better ones probably made mistakes, so that was an advantage to us obviously, but both horses raced well and we got the result,” Herlihy said.

“One (The Almighty Johnson) led and Temporale did a little bit of work to get outside him at the 800m and won nicely, so hopefully it’s onwards and upwards from here.”

Herlihy said he was happy with both runners heading into the race and although he was expecting big things from Temporale, The Almighty Johnson’s runner-up performance was a pleasing result.

“I gave Temporale a good chance of being right amongst it and I was hoping Almighty Johnson could get a little bit of money too. He’s not quite as good as the other guy, but when the others made mistakes it certainly was a big advantage to him.”

It was a return to form for dual Group One winner Temporale after a virus he contracted in late October resulted in a disappointing ninth-placing in the Gr.1 Dominion Trot (3200m) last month.

“Temporale had a bit of a setback at the end of October, he had just a bit of a hiccup in his preparation,” Herlihy said.

“It didn’t seem too serious, but he just wasn’t quite at his best. In saying that Marcoola (Dominion winner) has really stepped up and him not being there (on Monday night) was a real advantage for us too.”

Herlihy said the pair will now be set to contest the Gr.1 National Trot (2700m) at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve.

“We’re going to race on the 31st (of December) at Alexandra Park and just see how we go there, which will decide what we do after that.” – Cambridge Raceway


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