IRISH-born jumps jockey Will McCarthy realised a dream when he rode The Dominator to victory in the $100,000 Thackeray Steeplechase at Warrnambool on Sunday but that success only served to heighten his desire to ride in next year's Grand Annual Steeplechase.
The Dominator defeated Police Camp by five lengths with Flying Agent running third in the jumps feature over 3450 metres.
McCarthy, 38, who has ridden in jumps races all over the world said it was a thrill to win at the holy grail for Australia jumps racing.
"I'm so lucky to be here riding a winner at Warrnambool," McCarthy told The Standard.
"It's been a dream of mine to kick home a winner here. All the jumps people around the world have heard about Warrnambool.
"I would love to ride in a Grand Annual. I was in Sydney in quarantine for the Warrnambool May Carnival this year.
"I watched it on television it looks a remarkable carnival.
"I've got four months left on a six-month visa. I want to come back next year.
"It's a massive thrill to win on The Dominator. I've got to give all the credit to trainer, Henry Dwyer. He's done a great job having the horse so fit in such heavy conditions. I kept on thinking something might come over the top of us but he kept on fighting."
Dwyer paid credit to his staff and McCarthy for the win of the nine-year-old.
"The Dominator has had his issues but he's just so brave," Dwyer said.
"He's a special horse to everyone in the stable. He's done tendons in both front legs. His win was extra special because he got taken on at various stages of the race but he kept on fighting on. It was a top ride by Will."
Mark The Horse gave McCarthy his second victory on the program, winning a high-weight flat race.
The all-powerful training combination of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained three of the six jumps winners including Lafferty Hurdle winner Saunter Boy.
Their other winners were Norway in a maiden hurdle and Wil John was successful in a restricted hurdle.
All the winners were ridden by champion jumps jockey, Steven Pateman.
Maher's brother Declan, who heads up its Ballarat stable, was excited with the performance of the three winners.
"We came here quietly confident we would have a good day," Maher said.
"The day went pretty well to script. We've got some exciting young jumpers in the stable which is great for the future."
Warrnambool race again on Monday, July 19.
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