BENDIGO'S McCloy family have continued their sentimental journey with their three-year-old pacing filly Whata Journey.
Named by owners and breeders Norm and Margaret McCloy in honour of their daughter Julianne Morris' brave battle against cancer, Whata Journey made it back-to-back wins with her tough-as-nails victory at Shepparton on Tuesday night.
An emotion-charged win came hot on the heels of the Julie Douglas-trained filly's maiden success at Tabcorp Park Melton 11 days earlier, giving the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Whata Avenue two wins from her four career starts.
While Norm McCloy declared Whata Journey's Melton win as easily his most favourite moment in more than 40-years of involvement in racing, the filly's Shepparton success was special in its own right, with daughter Julianne, who missed the pacer's maiden win, trackside at Shepparton for the second one.
"Julianne was there and her youngest daughter Mia was there, so that really topped it off," he said.
"We're really happy with the way the horse is going at the moment.
"But as I said after the first win, knowing what that meant to us all, I couldn't have cared less if she never won another race.
"But it was great for Julianne - the tears were flowing."
Morris, 51, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2019 and has battled a long line of health issues during her adult life, including brain tumours, Cushing syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), only came in contact with Whata Journey for the first time in the days after her Melton win.
McCloy praised another wonderful driving performance by 22-year-old Jack Laugher, who was aboard the filly for her Melton win, and advanced his impressive season win tally to 194.
"He's two out of two on this horse and doing a great job," he said.
"He's had a wonderful year, Jack, we can't thank him enough for what he has done with this horse."
The win added to a wonderful day for Norm and Margaret, who also got a win with Whata Roller at Albion Park in Queensland on Tuesday, and a third with their two-year-old filly Whata Sport, also at Albion Park.
The Queensland horses are trained by John McMullen.
Whata Journey was originally trained at Longlea by John McDermott, but was transferred to Julie and Glenn Douglas at Strathfieldsaye following her second run in November.
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