Cortopassi To Stick With Harness

19
Jun

Aldo Cortopassi has no thoughts of turning to thoroughbred training full time after his milestone victory at Belmont Park on Wednesday.

Cortopassi, who has carved out a successful harness racing career as a trainer-driver, celebrated his maiden success in thoroughbred ranks.

Illusion of Light, having his first start for Cortopassi, arrived with a well-timed run for jockey Shaun O’Donnell and won by one length from favourite Deb’s Delight.

Cortopassi, who has enjoyed Group 1 triumph in harness, rated it as one of his biggest thrills in racing.

“I just felt raw emotion,” said a delighted Cortopassi.

“I was watching the race thinking this is not really happening.

“It wasn’t until I got home and watched a replay did I realise how easy he won.

“I was fairly confident after Shaun worked him on Saturday.

“He said he was in with a great shot and should finish in the top three.

“It was satisfying and gave me pride knowing I could do something different and win.”

Illusion Of Light, raced by Kevin Bairstow, won two races and was placed on seven occasions from his previous 11 starts with David Harrison.

The four-year-old, who boosted stake earnings to $60,875 with Wednesday’s victory, was stepping out for her first appearance since September last year.

“I know Kevin from trotting and he also lives next door to Bob Sutherland.

“Bob is a good friend of mine and gave me a good push when Kevin was looking for a new trainer to take over.

“He was absolutely over the moon and delighted by the win.”

Cortopassi says there are natural similarities between harness and thoroughbred training but he has also discerned sublte differences.

“Fred Kersley told me they are just horses and to treat them the same,” said Cortopassi.

“The difference I have noticed is the less intensive mental pressure.

“In harness I’m involved in everything including driving but in racing you don’t have that sense of control.

“Once the race is underway your job is pretty much done.

“But I’m really enjoying the change and the different environment.

“The thoroughbred trainers have been really supportive and have pumped me up.

“I’m only dipping my toes at the moment but I love the challenge.

“It’s something I might become more involved with down the track.”

Illusion Of Light’s win was in far contrast to Cortopassi’s only other starter in racing.

Bush Run ran an ignominious last when he trailed Princess Kealey by 16 lengths at Bunbury 15 months back.

 www.rwwa.com.au