Lara Trainer Tina Womann is optimistic Miss Rossi’s remarkable consistency will be rewarded with a feature race victory in Friday evening’s lucrative $14,200 Matchmaker Final (450m) at Shepparton.
Miss Rossi won her heat of the $10,000 to-the-winner Matchmaker on Monday in impressive fashion, clocking 25.59sec, continuing an excellent run of form that has seen her unplaced only twice in her last 17 starts, while she’s missed a top three finish just 11 times in her 40-race career.
“She’s a very determined chaser,” Tina Womann said.
“She’s very consistent and she loves to compete. She puts everything into her races. In the start before she won her heat at Shepparton she struck a lot of interference at Ballarat, but other than that she hasn’t missed a place for a long time.
“Dennis (Trewin, partner) and I bought her when she was three months old from (Lara breeder) Ron McCullagh. Her grandmother, Okay Supreme, was a litter sister to Velocette (2009 Australian Cup winner).
“She broke in good but she didn’t have much strength so she was mostly racing over the shorts. We thought we’d slowly build her up and she’s getting the 450m pretty well now. She hadn’t run for a couple of weeks before her heat so I was worried she might get a bit tired but she went really well.”
“She’s very consistent and she loves to compete. She puts everything into her races” – TINA WOMANN
The Matchmaker series was first staged at Wangaratta in 1976, with the female feature deriving its name from a unique concept, which saw eight straws to different sires on offer to the finalists, with the winner having first choice, the runner-up second choice and so on.
While the straws won’t be up for grabs this year, the $10,000 winner’s purse has attracted a high class field, with the other three heats won by Jeff Britton’s Mepunga Treasure (25.45sec), Dave Geall’s Wombat (25.59sec) and Michael Carter’s Daphne’s Party (25.77sec).
“I think Miss Rossi’s a good each-way chance,” Tina offered.
“She’s got a nice draw (box two) but it’s a very good field so she’ll have to begin really well and hopefully she can hold them out.”
While Tina prefers to focus on Miss Rossi’s prospects, victory in the Matchmaker Final would also be fitting for the respected Lara trainer as she bounces back after battling a rare illness.
“I knew something was wrong but they couldn’t find what it was. They eventually found out I had Cushing’s Disease. It’s very rare – only about seven or eight people in Australia have it – and that’s why it took a long time to work it out,” Tina explained.
“They had to take one of my adrenal glands out and I also had a tumour taken out at the same time. That was two years ago on April 1st, so I lost about two years. I’m not quite 100 per cent but I’m feeling much better.
“I’m enjoying being back into the dogs and, while we don’t have any Trewly Special‘s at the moment we do have a few nice young ones coming through.”
Trewly Special (pictured with Tina above) was a Group 1 winning greyhound trained by Tina and Dennis a decade ago.