Prepared by emerging horseman Grimson and driven by talented reinsman Cameron Hart, Reilly’s I Cast No Shadow caused an upset in the big Group 1 at Melton late last year, saluting at $16.
The Queensland owner purchased the now six-year-old chestnut from New Zealand and he was originally sent to trainer Brent Lilley before Grimson eventually took over the training duties.
Grimson’s Majestic Cruiser claimed the 2022 Group 1 TAB Blacks A Fake at Albion Park.
Having raced pacers for more than six decades, Reilly says the ID title is a milestone she had always aimed to win.
“It has been the highlight of my career,” Reilly said.
“It was great, it was stressful and it was happy.
“Anybody that is in harness racing would love to win the Inter Dominion trophy.
“You dream about it and hope one day you have a horse that is good enough to win it.”
There is another tantalising aspect of the industry that Reilly also has her eyes on.
The establishment of a world-class harness racing precinct in the Sunshine State is a step closer with a site secured for a new Queensland Centre of Excellence.
With harness racing’s show-piece event, the Inter Dominion Championships, poised to make its long-awaited return to Queensland this year, work will now begin on future proofing the industry through the development of a state-of-the-art racing and training precinct.
Racing Queensland has purchased more than 72 hectares near Norwell as the preferred home of the ‘Queensland Harness Centre’ and will access $8 million from the Racing Infrastructure Fund to secure the land.
“That has been the pinnacle of my life, hopefully I live long enough to see that track built and race there,” Reilly said.
“That is what is keeping me going, I want to see that.”
Reilly hopes her tale of winning harness racing’s show-piece event spurs others to get involved in the game.
While she owns I Cast No Shadow on her own, she also has shares in a number of other pacers, which she declares has led her to meet “wonderful people” through syndicates Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand.
“I hope people can hear my story and my experiences and they can go along with me and know that there is a journey for them to do similar,” she said.
“People should just keep buying horses, go to the sales and buy some good horses and strive to win the Cup that I have won.
“This is an opportunity for everyone to come here and see how well racing is going in Queensland and how it is really going ahead as a sport.
“With the prize money on offer and the QBRED bonuses, I can’t see why people would not want to race their horses here.”
The dates and venue for the 2023 Inter Dominion Championship have recently been unveiled, commencing on Friday, December 1, 2023.
The second and third rounds of qualifiers will follow on December 5 and December 9 respectively, culminating with both pacing and trotting finals on Saturday, December 16.
By Jordan Gerrans