Harrison after special victory
Doug Harrison hoping to cap a big day for the family at Cranbourne on Sunday
Doug Harrison will be out to secure a memorable victory for the Harrison family when he saddles Leventi in Sunday’s $30,000 Chandler Macleod Travis Harrison Apprentices Cup (1500m) at Cranbourne.
The annual apprentice riders-only feature is named in honour of Harrison’s nephew Travis, a promising apprentice jockey who died in a car accident at only 18 years of age in May 1996.
Though the race has been moved around, Harrison said the fact that this year’s edition was being run at Cranbourne, a track synonymous with the Harrison name, made it particularly special.
“It’s a great honour for the Cranbourne Turf Club to put on the race,” Harrison said. “They’ve put the race on and we’d love to support it.
“They’ve invited all the family and Travis’ dad Kevin (Harrison’s brother) is coming over from Adelaide.
“I try to target this race. It’s been in January previously and the conditions have changed a couple of times but I’m lucky enough that Leventi has got a run so it would be very special if he could get up on Sunday and win.”
Having previously won the race in 2004 with Lord Ardsley, Harrison will be relying on home-bred three-year-old Leventi, which he part-owns, to give him a second victory in the feature.
“There’d be nothing like winning the race, I’ve only won it once and it would be great to change that on Sunday,” he said.
“I bred Leventi myself. He’s out of a mare Natural Stunner who is related to another good horse that I had Natural Blitz.
“Leventi is Natual Stunner’s first foal and I think he looks a promising stayer with a fair bit of potential.”
A fast-finishing fourth first up over 1300m at Bendigo, he will carry 56.5kg after the 2kg claim for Regan Bayliss.
Drawn in barrier nine, Harrison said the son of Primus should go very close with luck in running.
“It was a very good run first up Bendigo,” he said.
“He feels like a 2000m horse in the making. He gets back in the field so he’s probably going to need a little bit of luck on Sunday.
“He’s run a couple of very nice races and the only time he’s run poorly was at Sandown where I think he may have injured himself jumping the crossing.”
The Travis Harrison Cup aside, the nine-race program also features the $17,500 Australian Future Communications – TJ Harrison Plate (2025m).
Named in honour of Harrison’s father Tom, who also trained at Cranbourne, Harrison said it added to an already memorable day for the family.
“It’s great they also recognise dad on Sunday too for all the years and service he put into Cranbourne,” he said.
“My family has been associated with Cranbourne since 1968 with my father training there first and now myself.
“Dad probably won at least 10 Cranbourne trainers premierships and I’ve won about five so we’ve been pretty entrenched at Cranbourne and dad was actually the instigator of the Cranbourne Training Complex.”
Click here to view the full fields, form and barriers for Cranbourne on Sunday
By Ben Asgari – @BenAsgariRacing