By Duane Ranger
To own, train, breed, and drive a Group One winner for the first-time in more than 40 years service to harness racing would be “life-changing” for Logan Village horseman Doug Lee.
Those were the 62-year-old’s exact words when asked what it would mean to finally crack a big one.
“I’ve won a couple of Group Threes, and it would mean so much to my family and even the horse’s family if he got up.
“Justabitnoisy’s family dates back to my grandfather’s (Snowy Finn) 1952 U Scott mare, Snow Jane, who produced Snow’s Interdominion Trotting Champion, Bay Johnny back at Globe Derby Park in 1976,” Lee said.
“Winning on Saturday would mean the world to me. To win a Group One with a horse that dates back to my grandfather’s days would be precious. He was the one who got me into harness racing soon after I left school in the early 1970s,” he added.
Lee and Justabitnoisy have drawn ideally at three in Saturday’s Group One $50,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Queensland Trotters Cup.
“It’s a nice draw but this fella is a sit and sprint type, who will have to be saved for one run. Hopefully I can get a nice position with him an then he can show the sprint he has got,” Lee said.
Justabitnoisy goes into the 2,647m standing start event having won 15 of his 90 starts and placed in 35 others for $129,851.
His last two starts have really impressed Lee.
Last week the 6-year-old Lawman gelding was beaten 1.8m by the current Queensland Trotter-of-the-Year, Our Overanova. But it was the start before that had Lee looking twice at his stopwatch.
“The night we were beaten a short head by Majestic Courtney that horse set a new track record mile rate of 1:59.9 mile rate. My fella started from 10 metres behind that night and we timed him at 1:59.4.
“That is very good form going into this race because Majestic Courtney is no slouch and she’s got a tougher front row draw (8) to contend with this time. In saying that she will be tough to beat, and from the draw I’m hoping we will be right in it again,” Lee said.
Lee works a team of 12 south of Brisbane, which includes six trotters.
“I got the racing bug from my grandfather. I was born in Blacktown (NSW) and have been in Queensland seven years now. We made the move because it was just too far to travel to Menangle and back from where we were living at the time. In total it was about an eight-hour return trip.”
Justabitnoisy won the group Three Jim McNeill Trot in 2016 and then he repeated the dose with Scorched in the same race in early March this year.
“When the whips are cracking hopefully we will be close to or on the pace. Winning this race would mean so much to me,” Lee emphasised.
Whatever happens at 9:12pm, Lee will be hoping his star trotter doesn’t emulate the meaning of his mother’s name.
That late 1997 Riegle Lobell mare, Justabitlooney, won 14 races and placed 31 times ($62,621) for Lee between June 2000 and November 2004.