The team behind Leap To Fame celebrates last Saturday’s victory.
Ahead of Leap To Fame’s maiden Grand Circuit tilt, part-owner Kevin Seymour has declared he wants his mega star colt to become a horse of the people in the Sunshine State.
The four-year-old pacer is a raging hot favourite to nab his first Group 1 Blacks A Fake crown on Saturday evening at Albion Park.
With many pundits proclaiming that Leap To Fame is arguably the best standardbred in the world at the moment, there is every expectation that Saturday night’s race will not be the only Grand Circuit prize he will claim throughout his career.
With the Inter Dominion in his own backyard and The Eureka on his agenda later this year, the name Leap To Fame is set to be up in lights for the foreseeable future.
Kevin owns the star pacer with his wife Kay.
The businessman, long-time owner and breeder in harness racing remarks that he would have liked to name his colt “Queenslander” instead of Leap To Fame to help the horse capture the imagination of the Sunshine State’s population.
“We would like to think that he is a horse for the people and he is a horse that everyone can take ownership of going forward to these big races,” the leviathan owner said.
“The industry needs – not only harness racing – but all codes need a superstar to capture the imagination of people and excite them so they return to the track to watch him perform week after week.”
The Seymours have been in the sport for near-on six decades and Kevin cannot remember the grandstands as packed as they have been for the last two Saturday evenings.
Leap To Fame grabbed a Group 1 double on those nights: the Sunshine Sprint and The Rising Sun.
Leap To Fame is trained and driven by Grant Dixon and the veteran horseman recognised the interest in his colt moments after the Sunshine Sprint victory.
“People love a great horse and it is great to see everyone here,” Grant said.
Grant and Trista Dixon with Leap To Fame.
There are hopes that Leap To Fame’s stunning form returns harness racing back to its glory days of Blacks A Fake’s multiple Inter Dominion-winning career in Queensland.
Kevin is of the belief that Leap To Fame is the greatest Queensland pacer since the retired champion Blacks A Fake.
“You do not need to plan, the horse speaks for himself,” Kevin said when asked if Leap To Fame can become a pin-up horse for the sport.
“His performances are the thing that determines his success and the publicity he can create for an image of a horse.”
Now into his early 80s, Kevin was recently discussing with Kay about how many pacers they have raced over the decades, with the number well over 1,000.
Leap To Fame is the horse the Seymours have been dreaming about for half a century while Dixon – who picked him out at the sales – says the colt is a standardbred that he has worked his entire life to find.
“They say you need to persevere in racing generally and I think that is pretty appropriate to us,” the big-time owner said.
“It has taken us 55 years to get an Australian-bred horse as good as this fellow.
“We are in our latter years now and we do not know how much longer we will have to watch these good horses, so we need to set our sights on the bigger races.
”It has been an exciting ride the whole way through in harness racing.”
Kevin saved special mention for Dixon in the way he has ‘nurtured and looked after’ Leap To Fame through his first few years of racing.
Kevin Seymour has declared he wants his megastar colt to become a horse of the people in the Sunshine State.
The team had been selective in the way they have decided his program of races, with last Saturday’s Sunshine Sprint his maiden appearance against the open class pacers.
Kevin thought his colt was finished at the 600 metre mark of the 1660 metre race before Dixon took off down the outside and stormed past the field.
“He is a master tactician and horseman,” Kevin said of Dixon.
As Kevin did for him, Dixon credited his wife Trista for keeping Leap To Fame at such a high level through the carnival.
“Trista regularly has fast work on him, just in case I am missing anything,” Grant said.
“She hops on him, quite regularly, and often before big races to make sure he is right on track.
“She always loves how he feels and how strong he is, as well as how easy he does his work. It has been a good ride so far with this horse.”
As of Friday morning, Leap To Fame is a red-hot $1.40 shot in the Blacks A Fake with Swayzee – his older half-brother – the second public elect at $4.80.
By Jordan Gerrans