Matthew Howlett tasted his biggest win in the sulky when short price favourite Mickey Oh handled his rivals with ease in the 2021 Tasmanian Trotting Club Sweepstakes Colts and Geldings Final in Hobart on Sunday night.
Sent out as the $1.60 favourite, Matthew drove a confident race on the gelded son of Racing Hill to find the lead in the early stages, which was a surprise to the driver.
“I was a bit surprised he got given the front, but it probably shows the respect other drivers have for him in his short career already. He did it very easy up the straight,” said Matthew post-race.
Mickey Oh ended up scoring by 13.9 metres over Maebee with A Minutes Silence back in third position. The mile rate was 1m 59.0s.
It was a true family involvement, with Mickey Oh prepared by Matthew’s father, Chris, with the whole family chipping in on strapping duties with the family having two runners in the race.
“It was very special as it is our first feature win as a family, it’s some reward for all the long nights after work which most in the game would know about,” said Matthew.
Like most in the race that are Tasbred, connections will aim the pacer to the Group 2 Dandy Patch next month.
Mays Place scored in the Fillies Sweepstakes Final by a half-head over Miss Papenhuyzen. They were 25.5 metres clear over Our Bright Light back in third position.
The daughter of Shoobees Place had to survive a protest lodged by Rohan Hiller, driver of the second placegetter, for interference over the concluding stages that was subsequently dismissed.
The win was the sixth Sweepstakes Final for Gareth Rattray and the first for trainer Kent Rattray.
Mays Place, who has now won four of her eight starts, is owned and bred by Shane Hawes, who also bred Mickey Oh, who was sold at the 2020 Carrick Park Yearling Sale.