Australia Day brings big crowd to Harold Reid Paceway
The 2019 running of this year's GWN Albany Pacing Cup, won by the Perth owned and Byford trained four year old Naval Aviator, brought the biggest crowd of the 2018-19 season to Harold Reid Paceway.
On-course patrons were treated to quality and competitive racing on the 90th anniversary of the first Albany Cup meeting, held at Centennial Oval in 1929.
Fine weather and excellent track conditions were conducive to fast times with Naval Aviator giving Cup rivals little hope of winning when he flew home the last 800ms in 56.4 seconds to record his biggest win in a short career.
Locally owned & trained Jasper Casper, a 12 year old and winner of the New Year's cup in December, was the unlucky runner in the big race finishing full of running but blocked for a clear run in the final straight.
The trainer/driver of Naval Aviator, Aldo Cortopassi, had an exceptional night out winning all four races contested by his horses.
Peter George, breeder and owner of Naval Aviator, also owned and bred the winner of the first race; Theo Aviator. He believes both of his winners have big futures in harness racing.
In his acceptance speech, George made a point of the significance of Naval Aviator's win and thanked the Club for its professionalism and dedication to country racing.
As for trainer and driver Aldo Cortopassi, he has been a frequent visitor and supporter of country harness racing, especially in Albany, believing that grass roots ownership, breeding and training are the life blood of the industry.
He congratulated the Albany Harness Racing Club on the presentation of the track and the great atmosphere on-course.
Cortopassi will continue to support Albany whenever he can, adding "Albany has been good to me over a number of years"!
As for Naval Aviator, the point has to made that if recent history repeats itself, with horses like Galactic Star (2018 Interdominion runner and placed in the 2018 Albany Cup) and Our Jimmy Johnstone (winner 2017 AHRC Cup) racing successfully in Albany, the future looks exciting for horses like Peter George's four year old stallion.
Written by Matt Benson-Lidholm (0427 988 085) for the Albany Harness Racing Club
29 January 2019
Special thanks to Paceway Photos (Darryl & Jodie Hallows 0400 491 758) for their continued support of the AHRC
Photo 1. Naval Aviator winning the 2019 Cup
Photo 2. Peter George with Trainer/Driver Aldo Cortopassi
Special thanks also to Alan Parker (0448 448 705), Harness Historian, for his research and support of the AHR Club's premier event.