Lennytheshark’s phenomenal rise continues.
The most popular pacer in the Southern Hemisphere drew a rapturous reception on Thursday when he turned his fin past the post first to win the Yarra Valley Cup in track record time.
Driven by Chris Alford, Lennytheshark completed the 2650m race in 01:55 seconds, smashing the previous track record by five seconds.
The win was Lennytheshark’s 37th from 70 career starts, taking the stake money now to more than $2.8million and Shepparton-based owner Martin Riseley is delighted with how preparation is tracking for the Inter Dominion in Perth next month.
‘‘You can’t fault him at the minute,’’ Riseley said.
‘‘He is probably in career best form at the minute, he smashed the track record around Shepparton and then he did the same at Yarra Valley. It is exciting times.’’
Lennytheshark became a two-time Victoria Cup champion last month and local trainer David Aitken sounded a warning to his Inter Dominion rivals.
‘‘We’ve got unfinished business there,’’ Aitken said.
‘‘We’re really looking forward to Perth now. He’s my once-in-a-lifetime horse. I’m just so proud of him.’’
The eight-year-old was forced to be a late scratching in last year’s Inter Dominion with a foot abscess, but with a bit of luck, Riseley hopes his horse will deliver this time around.
‘‘Fingers crossed everything goes to plan, we just hope he can hold on and from there I think we will be in with a good chance,’’ Riseley said.
Ironically, Lazarus, another trotter owned by Riseley, is expected to start as favourite for the big race, however, Riseley cannot go past backing the horse he owes so much too.
‘‘They are both in great form, I think Lazarus will have to put a good race in, but it’s hard to go against Lennytheshark,’’ Riseley said.
‘‘There is too much sentimental value, Lenny has been sensational for us.’’
Alford wore the light blue prostate cancer colours on Thursday and will continue to do so through November, raising awareness for the life-threatening disease.