One millionaire standardbred in your barn is something special. Two is the stuff of dreams.
This could be a reality for Myrniong trainer Jess Tubbs and husband/driver Greg Sugars as soon as Saturday night with stablemates Just Believe and Better Eclipse poised to crack the seven-figure barrier in stake earnings at Melton.
Just Believe, the reigning back-to-back Inter Dominion champion and globetrotting megastar, sits on $983,173 in prizemoney and can reach the magical mark with a short-priced victory in the V L Dullard Trotters Cup. Half an hour later, Better Eclipse ($984,770) will look to do the same with success in the Casey Classic, where he is a highly-fancied prospect from gate one.
While Better Eclipse's place on the millionaire's list will be significant, Just Believe will reach rarified air. Harry, as he is known, is poised to become the first Australian-bred trotter to reach $1million in stakes and just the 10th in Australasian history, joining the likes of household squaregaiting names Lyell Creek, I Can Doosit, Sundons Gift and Tornado Valley in the process.
Better Eclipse will have many more friends in the pacing millionaire club, but reaches a line-up that is topped in this part of the world by Blakes A Fake ($4,575,438) and Im Themightyquinn ($4,567,456), and was recently joined by Emma Stewart's brilliant mare Ladies In Red ($1,003,620).
Tubbs has prepared two-time Group 1 winner Better Eclipse since his fifth start in mid-2021 and has taken Just Believe to a new level since receiving him after his final run for former trainer Michael Hughes in April 2022. He's won five races at the elite level, competed admirably in Sweden and is a warm favourite to defend his Great Southern Star title on February 3.
"We've been incredibly lucky to have Better Eclipse and Just Believe land on our doorstep in the formative years of our training establishment at Larajay Farm," Tubbs, 36, said.
"They're both incredible athletes and we don't take for granted the fact they've quite literally catapulted us onto the world stage.
"For any horse to earn $1million in prizemoney is an incredible effort and certainly a milestone to celebrate. To think we could possibly have two do it on the same night is a little hard to grasp."
Just Believe will race first at 8.10pm, with Better Eclipse to go at 8.42pm.
The blockbuster Melton card includes the Caduceus 3YO Classic and Ladyship Cup for the mares, with the night a precursor to the huge A G Hunter Cup and Great Southern Star meeting next Saturday.