ANNE James drove Vanderport to second place in the 1986 Inter-Dominion Pacing Championship final in Brisbane.
Only WA great Village Kid, with Chris Lewis in the sulky, stood between Vanderport and James, and victory in the biggest crown in Australasian harness racing.
Village Kid dominated the series – completing a clean sweep of his three heats before running away with the grand final.
Vanderport was trained by Don Murphy at Dunnstown, who raced him with his wife Kath, and James’ parents Brian and Shirley Frawley from nearby Bungaree.
James gets opportunity to go one better than she did in 1986, this time as an owner, with Jaccka Clive lining up in the $750,000 Inter-Dominion grand final, 3009m, at Sydney’s Menangle circuit tomorrow.
James and husband Brendan head up the prominent BFJ Bloodstock Trust, which has enjoyed plenty of success.
An Inter-Dominion title would take their achievements in the industry to a whole new high though.
Jaccka Clive has had a much shorter path to the group 1 event than the likes of Vanderport did.
In a new format this year, just one round of state-based (plus NZ) heats were contested.
Trained by David Aiken at Avenel in Central Victoria, Jaccka Clive qualified with a third to Caribbean Blaster and Keayang Cullen in a heat at Melton.
While the 2012 Shepparton Pacing Cup was his biggest win, Jaccka Clive provided the James with one of their biggest thrills with the closest of seconds to Mah Sish in this year’s group 1 $400,000 AG Hunter Cup.
This followed a third in the same event last year.
Jaccka Clive is part of a strong Ballarat flavour at Menangle tomorrow.
Guaranteed and Restrepo head up a big hand on the 10-race program for Emma Stewart, while Michael Stanley has top class mare Blucolla Tigerpie engaged.
Guaranteed has drawn inside the front row in the group 1 $200,000 NSW Derby, 2400m, after winning his heat in a mile rate of 1:57.2.
Restrepo will be in the thick of things in the group 1 $200,000 Chariots of Fire for four-year-olds, 1609m.
Restrepo has won five of his six outings this season, including the past three.
He stepped in his latest start to rate a slashing 1:52.4 in the 4yo Bonanza, 1720m, at Melton.
Stewart’s Smythes Creek stable also has Broadways Best in the group 1 $200,000 Ladyship Mile, 1609m.
Blucolla Tigerpie can give Michael Stanley the biggest win off his training career in the Ladyship Mile.
The five-year-old has proven herself to be one of the nation’s best mares, winning the group 1 Tasmanian Oaks as a three-year-old and going on to take out a series of feature races across three states.
She won five in a row this campaign, including the $40,000 Ranji Bill Stakes at Menangle which secured her a start tomorrow.