The Queenslanders have conquered Victoria for a second time at Group 1 level with exciting trotter Not As Promised and now they’re plotting a hit-and-run mission on our Trans-Tasman rivals.
Trainer Graham Dwyer and driver Nathan Dawson combined for victory in Saturday night's Breeders Crown final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, one of eight elite-level features on the blockbuster card of harness racing from Melton Entertainment Park.
Last month's Victoria Trotters Derby champion was given a great run in front by Dawson and easily outgunned his rivals in the dash home to win by nearly 9m on the line.
While Dwyer was celebrating his third career Group 1, he was quick to pass the credit to 16-year-old son Layne who has been staying with the horse throughout his campaign down south.
"I'm incredibly relieved and incredibly proud because I had to hand the reins over so to speak. I can't be everywhere and my boy's just done the best job with Dennis Grieve. It's very, very satisfying," he said.
"He had to take responsibility – he has had good help as well – but he was a man doing the job and that's what I wanted from him, so he'd grow himself. And he's more than growing, he's pulled it off."
Layne Dawson, who already has 30 winners to his name as a driver, will now partner his father across the ditch for Not As Promised's shot at the New Zealand Trotting Derby on December 10.
"It's been a very good few weeks, but there's a lot of pressure and I'm just so glad to get it over and done with. We got the job done, which is the main thing," Layne said.
"New Zealand is next week and hopefully we can do the same there."
Not As Promised has now won nine of 15 career starts for more than $100,000 in prizemoney.
Dawson's 381st winner this season was also the fifth Group 1 of his career.
"He's pretty casual and only does what he has to, but I thought I could outstay them and it was probably the best asset I had," Dawson said.
"It's quite unexpected what he's done, but I'm very grateful to be apart of it and let's just keep having fun."
A short time later, Monegeetta trainer-driver David Miles produced a brilliant steer to help Rockinwithattitude claim a fourth Group 1 success in the Hyland Harness Colours Breeders Crown final for three-year-old trotting fillies.
With Shesawish holding the front from gate one, Miles was able to dive in behind one of his main rivals and save the star daughter of Aldebaran Eagle for a shot along the sprint lane.
And she simply exploded when given clear air in the home straight, charging clear as Miles raised the whip in glory to score by more than 10m over Shesawish and Shes Ruby Roo.
Last year's Victorian 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year, Rockinwithattitude has now won 17 of 26 races and more than $330,000 in stakes.
Val Thorens saved his maiden win for the Group 1 stage with a faultless trotting performance in the Betavet Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings.
Trained by Anton Golino and driven by Nathan Jack, the son of Volstead trailed leader Thunda Struck throughout the race, peeled off his back at the turn and raced away to claim his first career victory at start eight.
Father-son, trainer-driver duo John and Matt Newberry then teamed up with Nordic Reign for their maiden Group 1 triumph in the Mimosa Homes Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotting fillies.
The daughter of Volstead led from barrier three and held on to beat a brave All That Remains, who boxed on well for second ahead of Centurion Dream.
GROUP 1 BREEDERS CROWN TROTTING WINNERS
Hygain Breeders Crown final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings
NOT AS PROMISED
BROWN GELDING 3 by BETTING LINE out of ALL PROMISES
Trainer: Graham Dwyer
Driver: Nathan Dawson
Owner(s): Veivers Purchasers Pty Ltd
Breeder(s): J A (Jess) Tubbs
Hyland Harness Colours Breeders Crown final for three-year-old trotting fillies
BROWN FILLY 3 by ALDEBARAN EAGLE out of ROCKIN SHIRAZ
Trainer: David Miles
Driver: David Miles
Owner(s): M E Arnott, J D Stewart, K Holzberger, J Ryan, T P Webb, Wyllie Family, A Kingston, C Holloway, M D Drady
Breeder(s): M E Arnott, K Holzberger, J Ryan, J D Stewart, A M Webb, A Kingston, C Holloway, M D Drady, T Russell, A Wyllie
Betavet Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings
BAY GELDING 2 by VOLSTEAD out of COURCHEVEL
Trainer: Anton Golino
Driver: Nathan Jack
Owner(s): Yabby Dam Farms Pty Ltd
Breeder(s): Yabby Dam Farms Pty Ltd
Mimosa Homes Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotting fillies
BAY FILLY 2 by VOLSTEAD out of TRICIA POWELL
Trainer: John Newberry
Driver: Matt Newberry
Owner(s): T (Troy) Walker
Breeder(s): E R (Erin) Taylor