Mach Da Vinci’s Sunshine State Raid

The challenges of the pandemic have become an unexpected godsend for trainer Peter Hanson.

When Hanson’s Bankstown stables were essentially locked-down as part of a NSW red zone, he moved swiftly to get his emerging pacer Mach Da Vinci up to Queensland to continue racing for some serious money.

The result? Such stunning improvement that Mach Da Vinci is now one of the hottest pacers in Australia.

And he should cap that from a nice barrier draw in tomorrow night’s $51,000 Group 2 Queensland Cup (2138m) at Albion Park.

In a huge vote of confidence for Mach Da Vinci’s rise to the top, star driver Shane Graham will drive him ahead of stable favourite, Turn It Up.

Mach Da Vinci has been breathtaking with four successive Albion Park wins by an aggregate margin of almost 50m and in all different styles from leading to doing to work and to last week’s stunning last-to-first victory in the Be Good Johnny Sprint.

“He’s gone to a whole new level,” Hanson said.

“The ingredients have always been there since Scott McDonald (owner) bought him from NZ, but he’s needed some time to mature. The big difference is how strong he is now.

“Even when Luke McCarthy drove him (in NSW) a few times for me a while back, he said I’d have a really lovely horse in a year or so when he matured. He’s right.”

Asked who Mach Da Vinci’s main danger looks to be in a race loaded with the who’s who of Queensland pacing, Hanson said: “To be honest, I don’t think there is one.”

Hanson said Plan A would be to look for the lead from either polemarker Northview Hustler or the brilliant beginner Turn It Up, if he crossed to the front from gate four.

“I’m not sure either of them would want to hold my guy out over 2138m the way he’s going at the moment,” he said,

Even bigger things loom immediately for Mach Da Vinci, who heads home to NSW for a crack at the Inter Dominion series, starting at Menangle on November 27.

“I’m already back in NSW waiting for him so it’s a big thanks to Shane Graham for looking after the horse for me and hopefully we can both get the big win this week,” Hanson said.

Courtesy of News Corp