SOMEONE was smiling down on Ken Harrigan yesterday.
Maybe it was God or maybe it was his late father, Kelvin Patrick Harrigan.
It didn’t matter, Harrigan was lapping up the atmosphere and the excitement with a huge winner’s grin.
Trainer Eric Musgrove and jockey Daniel Stackhouse had taken out race three on the card with About The Journey and the Narre Warren North man had a 1/10th share in the gelding with silent partner Steve Crisp from Bendigo.
Harrigan made the trip to Warrnambool’s races for the first time yesterday, leaving home at 3am to catch the train.
It was an emotional day for the 64-year-old.
More than a decade ago Harrigan and his dad had booked their tickets and accommodation to Warrnambool so they could watch the Musgrove-trained Pooky Bear, which they part-owned.
But Kelvin Harrigan, “a little Irishman”, died the morning of the race and the trip was cancelled.
Pooky Bear won, but Ken Harrigan was not in the mood for celebrating.
This year he was determined to finally get to see the famous carnival, returning to racing after a four-year break. He took time off his job as a cleaner at St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School in Cranbourne East with the blessing of the principal who was planning to have a bet on About The Journey as well. An emotional Harrigan told his wife he “just had to be there”.
“It is all about the journey,” he told The Standard. “It really is a story and a half.”