By Jordan Gerrans
Young Queensland driver Leonard Cain has declared TAB Queensland Summer Harness Season sensation Mach Da Vinci deserves a crack at the best in this Saturday’s opening heats of the Inter Dominions.
On the back of five straight victories at Albion Park, Mach Da Vinci has returned south of the border and is set towards the upcoming TAB Inter Dominion Pacing Championships (First Round Qualifying Heat Two) at Menangle.
The 22-year-old sat behind the Peter Hanson-trained gelding in two of his recent triumphs in Brisbane and was blown away by the way he performed.
The young reinsman picked up one of his best career wins yet on the in-form pacer, the 2021 Garrards Be Good Johnny Sprint at Group 3 level earlier this month.
“He is the ultimate professional race horse and it was a privilege to get to drive him,” Cain said.
“He has that quick speed; he is versatile and is a perfect race horse to be honest.
“He does not really need that luck in running, he makes his own luck.
“He is just one of those horses that can go to the next level.”
The exciting pacer was in the Sunshine State for parts of the 2021 TAB Queensland Constellations – going around in the first ever Group 1 The Rising Sun – but he came into his own following that period of the year.
He has not been outside the money in his last nine efforts in Queensland – which has yielded six wins – with two being at Group level, the Be Good Johnny Sprint and the Queensland Cup.
He was dominant across the back end of 2021, winning twice by over 19 metres in outstanding performances.
“When he was in Sydney and when he was here in the early stages of this year, he was more sort of sit and sprint initially,” Cain, who has been working at Jack Butler’s stable in recent weeks, said.
“Once they started driving him a bit more tough, it proved that he could do it and it opened everyone’s eyes to the fact that he did not need to sit up and get those cheap trips, he could do a bit of the bullying himself.
“He definitely came a long way. In Sydney, he was running around against the best ones each week and he was on the back burner a little I suppose, he just was not in the limelight.
“It helped a coming up here as he spent time in the paddock, he flourished on that because I don’t think he got that opportunity in Sydney.”