Local owner/trainer Garry Anders concedes his hometown hopeful Wilbur Deeds will face a baptism of feature race fire in Wednesday night’s Group 2 Warrnambool Cup heats.
Anders, who’s based at nearby Koroit, will test the consistent Wilbur Deeds in elite company for the first time when the homebred son of Oaks Road exits box one in the second of seven Cup heats.
However he hasn’t been handed any favours, with his opposition including Striker Light, Kouta Mayhem and Burn Like Fire.
“Wilbur’s going super and I had the Cup in the back of my mind, so I decided to give him a go at it, but I never expected the field I got!” Garry Anders offered ruefully.
“All the heats are really good fields but there’s five or six exceptional dogs in his heat. He’s got his favourite box but I think he’ll find the going tough. Striker Light is one of the best going around, the pink (Burn Like Fire) has won 23 out of 33 and there’s others too.
“I’d love to see him make the final, being the home town and all, but I really don’t think he’s got much hope. You’ve got to be in it to win it but all I’m doing is hoping.”
Wilbur Deeds, one of only two dogs Anders has in work, has earnt a crack at the Warrnambool Cup, winning six of his 28 starts with 15 minor placings, including a second at The Meadows last Saturday night.
“He won a heat and final at Sandown without ever having trialled there and he’s had two seconds and a third at The Meadows now without having trialled there, so I’m really happy with how he’s going,” Anders said.
WATCH: Wilbur Deeds (Box one) win a Grade 5 Final at Sandown for Garry Anders.
“If he could run in the first three on Wednesday I’d be pretty happy but I think he’s got his work cut out.”
Having retired after almost half a century as a bricklayer, Anders now has more time to devote to his greyhounds and his decision to obtain broodbitch Mepunga Lana, the dam of Wilbur Deeds, off prominent breeder Barry Smith is paying dividends.
“I used to train years and years ago and now I’ve got the time to muck around with a couple,” Anders explained.
“Barry (Smith) bred Mepunga Lana’s first litter, which was to Bella Infrared and then I bred the Oaks Road litter. She’s had another litter to Dyna Double One that I’m breaking in now and they’ve broken in sensational. They broke in better than Wilbur. I’ve got another litter on the ground, by Banjo Boy, which is 11-12 weeks old.
“About 25 to 30 years ago I had a dog called Crafty Deeds, which I got into an Australian Cup Final and he ran fourth. All my dogs are called Deeds after him.”