Winnie Allen's surprise all-the-way win at her long-distance debut at Wentworth Park last Thursday night is result of trainer Simon Rhodes' patience and perseverance.
Winnie Allen arrived from Melbourne in Rhodes' Bargo kennels with a reputation for having a mind of her own but after 16 starts in NSW the Brendan Wheeler-owned and bred bitch has won four races, three over 520m at Dapto and Wentworth Park and now over 720m at headquarters.
"Thursday's win was a far cry from the first trial I gave her after she arrived in my kennels,'' Rhodes recalled.
"I gave her a hand-slip at Dapto and to have any future dogs usually need to break 25sec.
"Winnie Allen did not get under the 29sec mark and when I contacted Brendan Wheeler he told me if I wanted to I could send her straight home as he has her destined for breeding.
"Winnie Allen is a daugher of Irma Bale, who won 37 races and $94,000 so she is from a great dam-line.
"I told Brendan I wanted to persevere with Winnie Allen and not long after she clocked 24.30 in another Dapto hand-slip trial.
"Because she had not been beyond 600m I was not certain she would run a strong 720m last Thursday night.
"I expected her to be the pacemaker but figured the last 70m might stop her but she just kept going.
"Brendan had agreed that I should give her a crack at 720m, advising that if she was going to be able to stay she would do so first-up because she had plenty of work leading up to Thursday's race.''
SPARE a thought for trainer Michael Hardman, whose dog Nangar Kash (pictured) was run down on the line by the Frank Hurst-trained Good Odds Harada in Thursday night's NSW final of the Crocmedia National Sprint Championship.
When the draw was conducted trackside five nights earlier, Hurst was unavailable so Hardman volunteered to choose the boxes for his rival trainer's pair Good Odds Harada and Good Odds Buddy.
Hardman came up with box one for Harada and box two for Buddy, while Nangar Kash finished up starting from box six.
WHEN Gunning trainer Andy Lord purchased four litter sisters from Tasmania last month he did so hoping that at least a couple may develop into handy stayers.
But Lord hit pay dirt instantly when two of the siblings, Wynburn Ava and Wynburn Mia, won over 520m at Wentworth Park last Thursday night.
They not only won, but each broke the 30sec barrier, with Wynburn Ava leading throughout for a six lengths' romp in 29.89 and Wynburn Mia coming from third early to score by over four lengths in 29.88
Wynburn Mia's sensational run home figures of 11.54 indicate that she could well become the middle or long distance winner Lord was seeking when he bought the quartet of sisters.
Lord produced the other two siblings, Wynburn Lily and Wynburn Willow, in the same race at WP on Saturday night, and Wynburn Lily led from start to finish, racing wide from box one but stopping the clock at a smart 29.92.
"Gary Constable, a friend of mine from Queensland, alerted me to the fact that these bitches were on the market and he reckoned they would be worth buying,'' Lord said.
"I'm obviously very happy with their purchase especially as Wynburn Ava, Wynburn Mia and Wynburn Lily had never seen Wenty Park before their races on Thursday and Saturday night.''
Lord landed a treble on Thursday, also winning with Cawbourne Terry, raced by his long-time client Stuart Dickinson.
"Cawbourne Terry had trialled at Wentworth Park because Stewie wanted an idea of what she could run there, so I gave her a 520m hit-out on August 3 and she got under the 30sec mark,'' Lord said.