With a teenager who has been battling leukaemia for the past six months cheering him on, Burning Front has produced a dream result to win the VOBIS Gold Star for the second-straight year at Moonee Valley .
Burning Front’s breeder and managing owner Justin Lovatt was at the track where he hosted a tribute luncheon on Saturday for his 14-year-old son Lachlan who was diagnosed with leukaemia in August last year.
Lovatt said Lachlan had spent almost all of the time since being diagnosed on August 20 in the Royal Children’s Hospital and undergone months of intense treatment.
“He’s just got the all-clear,” Lovatt said.
“We’ve just thrown the chemotherapy key away, so we’ve just got to ride the rest of the treatment out now.
“He’s actually up there (in the grandstand).
“We had a tribute luncheon up in the committee room today and we were lucky that Burning Front was running on the same day.
“The fact that he’s up there with all his mates and his horse has just won, that’s a bit of a fairytale.”
Trainer Darren Weir said he had aimed Burning Front to peak for Saturday’s $100,000 race, and the tough-as-nails gelding didn’t let the team down as he raced to a comfortable win to take his earnings past $700,000.
“Obviously the plan was to have him right for this day, because of the whole day with Justin and his son,” Weir said.
“So we tried to get him here in the right order for him to run the best he could and hopefully have the fairytale ending. It’s great that it’s happened.”
Burning Front, the $1.60 favourite, raced on the speed and never really looked in danger, defeating Cosmic Lights ($13) by 2-3/4-lengths with a short half head to O’Lonera third.
He won the same race by the same margin last year and has taken his record to 13 wins and 18 placings from 42 starts.
“He’s been a great horse and a great horse for connections,” Weir said.
Burning Front was one of four winners from the first six races for Weir at the meeting.