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McNair Hot In WDC's Third Leg

Published: May 27, 2019 11:05 am ET

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Doug McNair, who is representing Canada in the 2019 World Driving Championship, made some headway during Leg Three action in Sweden on Monday (May 27), as he took to the track in Lindesberg and won two of the day’s five races.

McNair wasted little time in Leg Three, as he won at first asking over the Lindesberg course.

The first of Tuesday’s WDC dashes had been programmed as Race 2 on the docket, and McNair was ready to make a splash in the tilt. He felt confident that he could get the job done if he had the right dance partner, and, when it was all said and done, Klocksve Sprinten proved to be the right mate.

McNair and Klocksve Sprinten lined up in Post 10 and ultimately found themselves within striking distance at the head of the stretch. McNair, who was hungry for a victory, didn’t want to squander his chance with the eight-year-old horse. McNair asked for more late and Klocksve Sprinten was all about it. The duo fired home as sure winners to start McNair’s day off on the right foot.

“My guy (Klocksve Sprinten) was really well behaved and he was able to relax,” McNair said in a post-race interview. “I think that’s the thing with Coldbloods, the more relaxed they are the better that they are going to be.”


Doug McNair warming up Klocksve Sprinten before their WDC race on Monday, May 27, 2019 in Lindesberg, Sweden.

McNair went on to say, “I haven’t had much luck until today on the track, so hopefully it (the win) is going to change things.”

McNair’s words proved to be a bit prophetic, as he would go on to record another win three races later.

Although it wasn’t as clear-cut as his earlier victory, McNair was first under the wire in Tuesday’s fourth WDC dash, which was carded as Race 7 on the program.

McNair’s countrymate, James MacDonald, was forced to watch the clash from the sidelines, as his charge, Next Love, was an early scratch from the proceedings. Although he wasn't out there mixing it up, ‘J-Mac’ had a good vantage point to watch McNair keep his cool through the dash with You To Neat.

McNair and You To Neat were able to sit a two-hole trip through the race, but there was a constant wall of horses on McNair’s outside, which threatened his chances of being able to let You To Neat loose.

Much to the pleasure of McNair and those rooting for him, the Canadian pilot was able to find some daylight late. He and You To Neat were able to finish with a ton of trot and best the Michael Nimczyk-driven Albert G, who also closed with vigor.

“I was lucky to get up and shake loose at the head of the lane,” McNair said afterward.


Doug McNair (R) and James MacDonald (2nd from R) pictured on Monday, May 27, 2019 in Lindesberg, Sweden during the driver introductions for Leg 3 of the 2019 WDC.

Monday’s third leg is now in the books, and thus the WDC will continue on Tuesday (May 28) and Wednesday (May 29) before concluding on Friday (May 31).

Twelve of the top harness racing drivers from around the globe are competing in the six-leg championship. Drivers earn points based on their finishing position in the WDC races. The top point-earner from the multi-leg tournament will ultimately be declared the 2019 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 (USD) in prize money.

Points for the Championship are awarded in each heat according to the official order of finish. The winner of the race receives 19 points and then in descending order 14 (2); 11 (3); 9 (4); 8 (5); 7 (6); 6 (7); 5 (8); 4 (9); 3 (10); 2 (11) and 1 (12).

Ulf Ohlsson (who is representing Sweden) is leading the WDC after Leg Three with 76.5 points. He is followed by Norway’s Eirik Hoitomt in second (74 points). Matthew Williamson (New Zealand) currently sits third with 72.5 points. McNair has moved up to sixth (64.5), while MacDonald has slipped to ninth (62).

The leaderboard after Leg Three of the 2019 WDC appears below.

1. Ulf Ohlsson (Sweden) – 76.5
2. Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) – 74
3. Matthew Williamson (New Zealand) – 72.5
4. Rick Ebbinge (The Netherlands) – 72
5. Mika Forss (Finland) – 67
6. Doug McNair (Canada) – 64.5
T7. Michael Nimczyk (Germany) – 64
T7. Franck Nivard (France) – 64
9. James MacDonald (Canada/ITA) – 62
10. Yannick Gingras (USA) – 61.5
11. Rodney Gatt (Malta) – 58
12. Todd McCarthy (Australia) – 49


A shot of the leaderboard after Leg Three of the 2019 WDC (SC Photo).

Brief race recaps from the third leg of the WDC appear below.


Race Recaps

WDC Race 1 – Doug McNair, who was aboard Klocksve Sprinten, was able to get up in the lane and kick off the WDC’s third leg with an off-the-pace win with the eight-year-old brown horse. France’s Franck Nivard, who was driving Furderud Svarten, was able to secure second, while Sweden’s Ulf Ohlsson finished third with Guli Tiger.

“My guy was really well behaved and he was able to relax,” McNair said about Klocksve Sprinten. “I think that’s the thing with Coldbloods, the more relaxed they are the better that they are going to be.”

McNair went on to say, “I haven’t had much luck until today on the track, so hopefully it (the win) is going to change things.”

WDC Race 2 – After having strated from Post 4, Malta's Rodney wanted the lead early and got it. He shot out to the point with Anne and went on to post a strong victory over his 11 rivals.

New Zealand’s Matthew Williamson, who was in rein to Ilaria Sidney and started from Post 1, was able to finish second. Australia’s Todd McCarthy, who started from Post 7 with Valkyria K, finished third.

WDC Race 3 – A couple of late rushes to the wire resulted in a Dead Heat in the third of Monday’s WDC contests.

After having made an overland move earlier in the race, the Yannick Gingras-driven Saphir dInverne worked his way into pocket position as the field turned for home. Gingras, who is representing the United States of America, tipped out in the lane and passed Enjoys Top Gun (Mika Forss).

It looked like Gingras would win the third heat with Saphir dInverne, but the Matthew Williamson-driven Ior Tooma also showed late kick and got right up into the win photo.

After examining the photo, the presiding judges determined that Gingras and Williamson dead-heated for the win.

Forss and Enjoys Top Gun held on for third.

WDC Race 4 – It was another close finish in the fourth of the Leg Three splits, but it was the Doug McNair-driven You To Neat that was able to record a tight victory.

The field was reduced before the dash headed to post, as the James MacDonald-driven Next Love was scratched from the tilt.

There was very little movement in the race, which saw McNair sit second for much of the tilt. McNair and You To Neat were able to find some room late, and they came home full of trot. “I was lucky to get up and shake loose at the head of the lane,” McNair said afterward.

The win wasn’t clear-cut, though, as Michael Nimczyk, who was driving Albert G, also closed well off of his first-over trip.

McNair and Nimczyk were very close at the wire, but it was the Canadian that was able to pull out the victory.

WDC Race 5 – After having moved up first-over in the later stages of the race, the Eirik Hoitomt-driven Deede Star was able to capture the last of the Leg Three heats in convincing fashion.

The Norwegian driver utilized a well-timed first-over move to trot past the leader, Dream Cash (Rick Ebbinge), and hit the wire first.

Ebbinge and Dream Cash held on for second.


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