HE copped a tricky draw, was racing a field bursting with talent and was stuck at least three wide for the final lap, but Our Uncle Sam managed to nab second in Saturday’s Pacing Inter Dominion Championship Grand Final.
With Anthony Frisby in the gig for his Perthville trainer-father Chris, he guided Our Uncle Sam four and five wide through the final bend at Melton Park in the Group 1, $500,000 decider.
From there he flew home to deliver the Frisbys a career highlight.
“They got home in 27.8 and he was three and four wide the last lap … he was four wide around that last corner and you lose a lot of ground doing that. So we dead-set couldn’t be happier,” Anthony Frisby said.
“We were over the moon that we made the final, let alone coming second. He just went phenomenal.
“It’s on the top, it’s the biggest race anyone would want to be in. It’s a dream.”
Going from barrier 10, Our Uncle Sam was well off the pace in the opening stages as runners jostled for position, but Frisby eventually settled his $34.50 chance one out and five back.
While Tiger Tara, driven by fellow Bathurst product Todd McCarthy, set the tempo up front, Frisby waited for his chance.
As the bell sounded he guided Our Uncle Sam three-wide, following on the back of $4 second elect Cruz Bromac.
Into the final bend Tiger Tara had kicked eight metres clear of the chasing pack and in order to make up ground, Frisby had to steer his runner even wider.
He balanced at the top of the straight in fifth and 50m from home Our Uncle Sam had improved to second. He finished 14.4m behind Tiger Tara, with Cruz Bromac 1.4m behind him in third. Frisby could not have been happier.
“I thought during the week that if Todd got to the front, I wouldn’t be able to beat him to be honest. Our draw wasn’t good, but it wasn’t too bad, I thought I’d be able to follow that Purdon and Rasmussen horse [Spankem] pretty good,” he said.
“But then bugger me, they were the first ones to be beat sort of thing, so he had to work a bit harder than I was expecting to around that last corner.
“When I hooked him out, I had a fair of confidence that we were going to come second. They went 26.2 up the back, but he felt like they only went 29. I didn’t even think they were going that hard, that’s how good he was travelling the whole way.”
Frisby offered McCarthy praise afterwards for his winning drive, but said the whole experience from the crowd to the support is one he relished.
“I said to Todd after it was a bloody good effort, he deserved to win it. He’s had to do all the bully work … so it was good to see him crack that race,” he said.
“We were a bit doubtful we were going to make the final, then last week he ran a cracker of a heat. He kept improving every start.
“There was a bloody monster crowd there. It’s a thrill to be in it, you’ve got to take it all in and take it in your stride.
“All the messages before the race and support that we got was phenomenal. The phones were just going off and off for bloody hours afterwards. You don’t realise how many people get behind you … we really appreciate it.”