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Lenny’s Cup

By Adam Hamilton

Just a few hours after Winx made it 16 wins on end, the closest thing Australian harness has, Lennytheshark, added yet another feature race to his bounty with the Group 2 Kilmore Cup.

While the throughbred world – and broader sporting community to a large extent – rightly celebrated another Winx romp and applauded her dominance, the same couldn’t be said for much of Victoria’s harness community about Lennytheshark.

Granted it was nothing “personally” against Lennytheshark, but the angry tribe on social media took the chance to yet again attack Harness Racing Victoria’s abolition of standing-start racing.

Instead of celebrating another win by Lennytheshark, the race, the win again became a political tool for the knockers.

And let’s remember the Kilmore Cup was switched from a stand to a mobile last year – well before HRV’s decision to scrap standing start pacing races altogether.

Lennytheshark is the best pacer in Australia, arguably Australasia after way he endured the hardest run and beat the best of the best in the Miracle Mile.

It’s a shame couldn’t just enjoy him racing and winning easily. After all, Winx has done the same time and time again and the thoroughbred world revels in it.

As they do, the knockers said HRV had ruined the once great Kilmore Cup.

As someone who has covered Kilmore Cups for almost 30 years, I can agree with the obvious and say the race is nothing like it once was.

But the slide from its pedestal started long before HRV ditched standing starts.

If Kilmore had been a standing-start handicap, Lennytheshark would not have been there.

It may have been a better content for second and third-stringers, but does that genuinely make it a better race for the sport overall?

Granted Lennytheshark went to Kilmore, worked his way to the front and won in what was little more than a trial.

But not every race can be a fantastic spectacle or epic battle.

With plans for Lennytheshark to keep racing in Victoria, then NSW through until he heads to Queensland Winter Carnival, there are sure to be a few more easy wins for him.

That happens when you’re the best as we’ve seen with Winx.

Yes he’s not as dominant as Winx and he hasn’t strung 16 wins successive wins together, but he’s Aussie harness racing’s best and we should just enjoy seeing him action.

Ironically, he might have some serious competition again sooner than expected in the form of his stablemate, Hectorjayjay.

Cleared of needing minor surgery for a bone spur, Hectorjayjay is only a month or so away from racing again.

Just for the record, Lennytheshark won the Kilmore Cup by 2.4m from an eye-catching My Kiwi Mate with Lets Elope third in a 1min59.4sec mile rate for 2690m.






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