ECKLIN-trained pacer Keayang Cullen finished 11th in his Interdominion debut.
Driver Glen Craven had to navigate a tough draw in the $750,000 group 1 final at Menangle yesterday and finished 21.9 metres behind West Australian winner Im Themightyquinn.
Trainer Marg Lee said she was pleased with Craven’s drive and her charge’s effort on Australian harness racing’s biggest stage.
“It was a really good learning experience,” she said.
“It was our first time being in it and we had a really good time.
“The local support has been fantastic, the texts and phone calls and so forth.
“It’s really good how people get behind you.”
Lee said she would love to see the Terang Pacing Cup winner have another opportunity at the Interdominion final.
“He has niggling problems, so he’ll have a good spell and we’ll see how he comes back and we’ll look to next year,” she said.
Craven said he believed Keayang Cullen could make the prestigious final again.
“We think we should be able to if everything falls into place again,” he said.
“We should be better for the experience.”
Craven said the 3009-metre final yesterday was a tough race, with 14 of the nation’s best pacers battling it out.
Lincoln Royal was the only scratching.
“There was not much else he could do from the draw,” Craven said.
“We didn’t have much luck.
“He went good but was too far back in the race.”
Despite the result, Craven, who is Lee’s nephew, said the Interdominion was one of his career highlights.
“It was great. Not too many people get to experience it,” he said.
“(The best part) was the week and getting to know everyone and getting to run in the race.”
Im Themightyquinn won his third straight Interdominion final. The favourite, with Glen Hall jnr in the sulky, came from last to beat Mah Sish and Excel Stride.
Lee and Craven teamed up in the 1609m Chariots of Fire, a race for four-year-olds, with Keayang Steamer finishing fourth.
Keayang Steamer finished 6m behind winner Christen Me.
“He went really good. He had a better draw so he was able to use it,” Craven said of Keayang Steamer.
“We didn’t know where we’d finish.
“We were just happy to be in it.”
Terang-owned pacer Exciteusinthecity was last.
Darren Cole owns Exciteusinthecity, which is trained at Menangle by Darren Hancock.