Owner Matt McLellan has just one wish for 2019.
He wants to return for the Brisbane winter Carnival in July at Albion Park.
Naturally, he wants to be part of the action again with his millionaire pacer Hectorjayjay.
His memories are so joyous and so vivid, he’s often reliving the glory days when his brilliant pacer took the state’s biggest events.
Back in 2016, Hectorjayjay produced one of the greatest performances of all time when he came from a near impossible position to win the Sunshine Sprint before going down as favourite a week later in the Blacks A Fake on a rain sodden track.
He returned the following year and won both features, sublime efforts of both occasions.
“There’s no doubt Brisbane holds a lot of special memories for me and the guys that race Hector, we’ve been lucky enough to win so many good races but his Brisbane efforts just stand out for me. It’s a great track nestled amongst a fascinating backdrop and the people are so great up there, I really look forward to getting there as much as possible.” McLellan said.
As fate would have it, things have turned sour with Hectorjayjay developing some major injury setbacks which ultimately cost him a chance of returning to Brisbane last year.
After enjoying so much success with star trainer David Aiken, he was transferred to Gavin Lang where he left with a perfect record after winning his only start for the master horseman when triumphant in the Popular Alm Sprint at Kilmore last June before going amiss again.
Nowadays, Hectorjayjay is based with Ecklin South horseman Mattie Craven who makes full use of the nearby Warnambool beaches.
And the signs of improvement are looking better each and every day.
“His latest scan, which occurred days prior to Christmas, was really encouraging and it’s given us a lot of confidence moving forward with him.
“We can now increase his workload but we’re not going to overdo it with him, rather than pushing him for a race like the Miracle Mile, I’d rather wait and be ready for Brisbane and make sure he’s proper ready.
“If we can return to Brisbane and win those two big races again, that would just be absolutely amazing, a dream come true for me personally and hopefully we can get that opportunity.”
The Brisbane winter carnival takes place at Albion Park throughout the month of July and the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship is the final leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit.
Racing Queensland has recently announced some cash bonuses for horses aiming at the staying feature.
Last year, Mattie Craven enjoyed tremendous results throughout the carnival after claiming both the Queensland Derby (Master Moonlite) and Queensland Trotters Cup (Our Dreamlover).
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | January 11 | Photo by Dan Costello