Twelve months ago Rinaldo Divirgilio felt like he was at the cross roads.
The hobby trainer had a young unraced greyhound in his possession that was showing potential, but wasn’t consistently producing it.
Last Thursday night that same greyhound – Fever Pitch (pictured) – delivered Divirgilio his first group race win when snaring the Group 3 SA Derby (515m) at Angle Park in a field that included superstar Dyna Double One.
“A friend offered Fever Pitch to me to train soon after he was broken-in, and while I saw it as a good opportunity it was a bit of a frustrating experience for a while there to be honest,” the Devon Meadows trainer said.
“I knew he could run, because he would trial fast on his own, but when he trialled with other dogs he just wouldn’t go past them, even though I knew he was quicker than them.”
“It was getting to a stage where I thought he might not make it to the racetrack until one day, when he was 18 months old, I trialled him against a dog that had always previously beaten him.”
“On this day, however, the penny dropped for Fever Pitch. He went past the other dog and from that moment he didn’t look back. He got faster and faster every time he trialled and within 10 weeks he made his debut at Sale at 20 months of age.”
Fever Pitch, who is owned by the Inner Sanctum Syndicate, won seven of his first nine starts and has now won 15 from 29 overall. He earned a $25,000 first prize in the Derby, taking his career earnings up to $107,000.
Owned by the Inner Sanctum Syndicate, Fever Pitch will now be set for the Group 1 Adelaide Cup, heats of which will be run at Angle Park on Thursday week.Watch: Fever Pitch (8) overcomes a tardy start to win the Group 3 SA Derby at Angle Park last Thursday night in 29.52sec.