While we’re all still marveling at the heroics of Leap To Fame and his unbelievable deeds this year, it serves as timely reminder.
Administrators and officials take note.
Leap Top Fame has become the greatest ever three-year-old prepared from the Sunshine State after capturing three Derby classics this year plus a NSW Breeders Challenge Final in Australasian record time of 1:49.0.
His efforts in winning the Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria Derby features were sublime which catapulted him into rare air by joining Paleface Adios, Courage Under Fire and Captain Joy as the only three-year-old’s to win the major east coast classics.
As it stands, Leap To Fame is the hottest property in harness racing right now.
He appears to be generational type talent.
Speed, strength, power and charming good looks – he’s the complete package.
Moreso, a marketer’s dream.
But we’ve been down this path previously.
Most will remember the ‘Golden Era’ we encountered in this state during the mid-2000’s when we possessed the best group of open class talent available anywhere in the country.
Champion performers like Blacks A Fake, Be Good Johnny and Flashing Red regularly clashing coupled with the likes of Slipnslide, Cobbity Classic and Washakie among others during a star-studded period.
Sadly, as a whole, we failed to capitalize with what was at our disposal.
We failed to promote the true stars – the equine athletes, and we had them in abundance.
And as a result, fans lost interest and slowly disappeared.
In this fast-moving world, once they’re gone, it’s very difficult to get them back.
So, let’s hope we’ve learned from our previous errors and plot a completely different path this time around.
The backdrop is perfect, another big TAB Constellations coming up in July next year coupled with a return of an Inter Dominion series (our first since 2009 and the first at Albion Park since 2001) at the end of year plus having the best pacer in the country right now.
Surely, it goes hand in hand with promotion.
If we have any chance of getting people back at the track or even taking a remote interest in our sport, obviously we need to promote the best we have.
It’s not about hitching our wagon strictly to Leap To Fame but he’s clearly the best marketing tool we’ve had for some time, a genuine star that rival states and other codes would truly love to work with and promote.
For mine, this is too good an opportunity to pass up so let’s embrace this and make the most of it while the momentum is strong.
Until next time.