Proud owner Keith Bowen will make the long trip from Red Cliffs, near Mildura, to Warrnambool on Wednesday with high hopes of celebrating a Group race hat-trick with his in-form speedster Jimmy Newob.
Jimmy Newob, which is raced by Keith and his brother Jon, is enjoying a career best patch of form, having snared back-to-back feature trophies in the Group 2 Horsham Cup and Sandown’s Group 3 Easter Gift prior to setting the pace in the heats of the $47,000 to-the-winner Warrnambool Cup.
“We’re still pinching ourselves,” Keith Bowen said.
“He just seems to have matured and worked it all out. He’s beginning a bit better than he was – he’s very reliable now – and his times are getting better and better.
“We’re pretty new to the game but I thought he was probably about four lengths slower than the Aston Dee Bees but he’s closing that gap all the time. He ran second in the Bulli Cup and since then he’s won four in a row, including the Horsham Cup and Easter Gift.
WATCH: Jimmy Newob win the 2018 Group Two Horsham Cup.
“We go and watch him pretty regularly. We didn’t go to the heats at Warrnambool because we were up at Bathurst picking up another dog we bought. It’s about 500 kilometres to Warrnambool but after going 1100 kilometres to Bulli and then up to Bathurst last week that’s not too bad!”
It was the tyranny of distance that led the Bowen brothers to transfer Jimmy Newob to leading trainer Kel Greenough in late 2017 and the decision has been vindicated with the well-bred son of Cosmic Rumble and talented but injury-plagued sprinter Nosey Rozy winning six of his last ten, highlighted by a deserved Group breakthrough.
Jimmy Newob will contest his fourth country cup final on Wednesday night after producing the standout heat performance, clocking 24.87sec, and after drawing box three he’s the joint $3.50 TAB favourite with 24.92sec heat winner Striker Light, runner-up in last year’s Warrnambool Cup.
WATCH: Jimmy Newob clock the fastest Warrnambool Cup heat time of 24.872sec from box seven. Zipping Captain (box four) recorded the second fastest second to also make it through to Wednesday’s Cup.
“Kel doesn’t give too much away but I think he’s got a good chance,” Bowen laughed.
“I had dogs with Barry Fullerton, who originally trained Jimmy Newob and did a great job, about 40 years ago but then I got out of it. But when our mum died and left us a bit of money my brother Jon and I bought a dog each.
“It was just perfect timing. I looked on-line and Jimmy was available. The breeder, Joe Baldacchino, from NSW, sent us some photos and we all picked Jimmy. Being a bit green I asked Joe which one he would buy and he recommended Jimmy too, so that was the one we chose.
“Down the track we’ll look at giving him a chance at stud. I don’t think he necessarily needs to win a Group 1 but if he could win another Group 2 or Group 3 and a little bit more prizemoney it wouldn’t hurt. The fact that he’s so consistent is in his favour too; he’s only been out of a place eight times.”