Just Believe delivers again at ID23 - ID23
By Danny Matthews
Just Believe in line for another Inter Dominion Trotters sweep while Queen Elida succumbs again.
JUST BELIEVE. Picture: Dan Costello/Racing Queensland

Trotters champion in 2022, Just Believe continued his perfect run across two years of Inter Dominion heats with victory in the second round of heats of the ID23 Trotters Championship at Albion Park on Tuesday.

Equal favourite at $2 with Plymouth Chubb, the pair staged a stirring run to the line in heat five with Just Believe winning by a neck-margin.

Winning all of his three heats in the series at Melton last year, the seven-year-old gelding is on track to do the same in Brisbane.

The globetrotting star has the ‘no nonsense’ attitude and ability but has still given driver Greg Sugars moments of concern throughout their time working with the standardbred.

“It was one of the first things that struck us when we first got this horse,” Sugars said.

“How he can find the line and be a bit casual at times, even in trackwork, but when the business end is there, he goes to another level.

“You don’t have to ask him and you can’t really train that into them. They’ve either got it or they don’t. 

“Thankfully he’s got it.”

Sugars admitted to feeling the pressure during the 2022 series and is having the same trepidations this time as well.

However, it is the horse’s ability that keeps him confident that the run can go on.

“It is very different having the expectation of it even though he had a good record going into last year’s series,” he recalled.

“Even in the final, when he had won all three heats, he came up with a bad barrier draw in the final and a lot of that pressure went away because a lot of people jumped off.

“Very different this time around. More expectation but (we keep) doing what we do and getting the job done.”

Trainer and driver Chris Lang praised five-year-old Ollivici as the gelding notched another win in heat four earlier on the card.

Also having won a first round heat over 1680-metres on Friday, Ollivici also carries maximum points towards the third round on Saturday night.

In a heat where the speed was on early over 2138-metres, Ollivici ($6.50) conquered race favourite Queen Elida ($1.50) who was handed her a second defeat of the series.

While two second placings can be still enough to be in the hunt for the half-million dollar Trotters Final on December 16, the results were unexpected.

Despite this, Lang believes the strength of Ollivici’s performances makes for a continuation of a good run over the final heats and towards the final.

“It wasn’t that simple for me,” Lang said,

“I had to do the donkey work and go up to them but they just kept running.

“He’s done very well and sustained a long run and then come three-wide on the bend so he’s done a very good job.

“I just hope the good times continue.”