by Jonny Turner
Three-Year-Olds Cormac Leo and Coney Island Lou both called on their big motors to run to impressive wins at Addington on Friday night.
Trainer-driver Craig Ferguson unleashed Cormac Leo who could not have been more impressive in his debut victory in race 3.
Being caught wide early mattered little to the pacer who also shrugged off plenty of pressure inside the final 800m when scoring like a horse with a big future.
Cormac Leo was sent south to Ferguson by owners Bruce Barnett and Ricki Herbert after former trainer Kyle Marshall announced his upcoming move to Victoria.
The pacer is among an impressive line-up of three-year-olds in Ferguson’s stable, alongside Da Vinci and another impressive debut winner in Wag Star.
While Cormac Leo was brilliant over 1980m, Coney Island Lou was outstanding over the longer trip of 2600m.
The Cran and Chrissie Dalgety trained pacer was also forced to do plenty of work when retaking the lead and then also sustaining pressure inside the final 800m.
Just like Cormac Leo, the three-year-old shrugged off that extra exertion to run away and score in style for driver Carter Dalgety.
“He has always shown us he is well above average in the speed department, but it was very pleasing to see his stamina shine through tonight,” Cran Dalgety said.
“The horse has actually come up super, but he hasn’t had any luck this time in.”
“Some of it was his own doing and then other things haven’t gone in his favour, which is just racing.”
“But for him to come out and really take bad luck out of the equation tonight and win like that was very satisfying.”
Friday night’s impressive winners will head in different directions following their victories.
Though Cormac Leo is trained in Southland, Ferguson has indicated he won’t aim the three-year-old at the Southern Supremacy Stakes Series.
But Coney Island Lou is likely to head to the final heats leading up to its Group Two Final.
“With his win tonight, there is the confidence there to head south and push on to the Supremacy heats,” Dalgety said.
“He’s handled 2600m well, so if we were lucky enough to make the final the 2700m won’t be an issue.”
“The next heat is too soon so we will aim at the next one at Winton.”
While the three-year-olds impressed at Addington on Friday night, the older horses more than held their own.
Oscar Bonavena charged late to take out the meeting’s feature trot while Sam’s Town continued his outstanding recent form to win the feature pace.