Veteran trainer John Westerlo doesn’t agree that in-form middle distance prospect Dazzling Bling is poorly drawn in box one for Saturday night’s Railway Social Club Final (600m) at The Meadows.
After taking a little longer than expected to hit her straps, Dazzling Bling, bred by Clyde-based Westerlo and his wife Carol, has won four of her last five starts, including two from two over The Meadows 600m course.
Despite suggestions that Dazzling Bling is better drawn wide, the astute Westerlo certainly isn’t complaining about drawing the rails for the $12,000 to-the-winner final.
“She’s absolutely airborne at the moment,” Westerlo said.
“It’s taken a while but now she’s got her confidence up.
“A lot of people are saying she wants to use a bit of the track but I’m very happy with box one. The way she’s going, with her confidence up, of course you want box one.
“When you’ve got the red you’ve got to take advantage of it but she’ll be straight onto the rail and if she does race a little bit off the fence, hopefully she’ll be in front by then. That’s the plan anyway!”
Dazzling Bling’s only previous appearance in the red vest saw her finish second in a semi-final of the Group 3 Vic Breeders at The Meadows in February, before running fourth in the final.
After winning only one of her first nine starts, she’s improved her record to five from 14 courtesy of two impressive Cranbourne 520m victories (29.99s and 30.11s) and a middle distance double at The Meadows.
Dazzling Bling was an all-the-way 34.58s heat winner last Saturday, with the other run-offs won by All In Baz (34.50s), Living Daylights (34.68s) and Showgirl Queen (34.75s).
“Confidence is everything; with no confidence, you’re no good,” Westerlo said.
“I thought she was well-boxed in eight for her heat because the seven (Kraken Dust) has a bit of pace and gave her a lovely cart across. Dazzling Bling came out too good and that was it.
“If she can lead again she’ll be two lengths in front at the winning post and she’ll still be two in front turning for home, so I don’t know how they’re going to pick her up.
“After she has three or four 600s I might step her up. Her run home times indicate she should get 700m but you never know until you try them.”
Dazzling Bling is the latest talent to emerge from the Westerlo family’s wonderful production line, with her dam, Lady Bling, a half-sister to Group performers Walk Hard, Bling It On and Full On Bling.
“It’s been a great line,” Westerlo offered.
“Dazzling Bling’s brother, Solid Bling (5 wins from 13 starts), goes well too.
“He ran 29.55s at Sandown a few starts ago and he should have won the Derby at Healesville last weekend. He lost concentration and ran off. He decided he didn’t want to earn $7000!”