THEY might have missed out on a spot in the feature event of Tuesday’s meeting at Bathurst but Chris and Anthony Frisby made their start in the Ray and Olive McCarthy Memorial (1,730 metres) count thanks to Major Occasion.
Major Occasion ($4.30), who has returned to the Frisby stable following a stint in Melbourne, won an entertaining three-horse battle with Callmequeenbee ($12.20) and War Dan Bad Girl ($4.50) over the home stretch.
It was a wonderful double for the father-son duo after Our Uncle Sam – who was the emergency for the feature Shirley Turnbull Memorial – won the previous race.
Our Uncle Sam made it two wins in a row to start his season by taking out the Knickerbocker Bottleshop Pace (1,730m) in a sharp 1:53.5 mile rate.
“It’s unreal. Last year we went home with our tail between our legs. I was lucky to have these two pretty nice horses to drive. They both drew bad but they both managed to overcome it,” Anthony Frisby said of the back-to-back successes.
“It gives you a great thrill when you get to drive nice horses like that. Hopefully they can keep on producing.”
Major Occasion had a tough second row draw to contend with in the Ray and Olive McCarthy Memorial.
At the green light race favourite Miss Keesha ($3.20) found the lead and Major Occasion found some space to work three wide into the death seat.
War Dan Bad Girl followed the Frisby filly forward but was caught wide with no cover on the turn for home.
Major Occasion threw down the challenge to Miss Keesha over the third quarter and the favourite started to lose ground inside the final 400m.
However, as the field straightened Miss Keesha started to claw back the deficit and War Dan Bad Girl still had plenty left to give despite the difficult trip.
War Dan Bad Girl ducked to the inside while Miss Keesha loomed up on the outside but neither could prevent Major Occasion from finding a sixth career win.
Anthony Frisby said there’s been a noticeable improvement in Major Occasion’s race manners.
“Craig Turnbull had her last year and he has done a super job in Melbourne. He’s helped us out a hell of a lot. He got her to relax for us. She won two heats and came third in the final. If she’d got out better in the final she probably would have won it.
“She’s going to be a really nice filly. She’s quite tough and I really like her.”
Frisby was honoured to claim a memorial race win at the Boxing Day meeting.
“The McCarthy’s have been great for the sport. They’ve been around for many years and it’s great to notch up a win in this one,” he said.
“They’re a beautiful family and it’s great that they have these sorts of races.”