Group 1-winning trainer and Bendigo GRC President Bob Douglas believes up-and-comer Shadow Mist is drawn to claim his fifth win from just six starts at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Shadow Mist made an impressive city debut when winning his heat of the fifth grade TAB Long May We Play series (525m) in a smart 30.04s and Douglas believes the move from box seven to two could see the youngster go even faster in the final.
“He’s a nice pup and he’s on the up,” said Heathcote-based Douglas.
“He can be a bit hit and miss at the start but he’s drawn where he wants to be.
“I couldn’t be happier with box two.
“If he begins he’ll find the fence and if he misses it he’ll find the fence. He’ll knock the paint off!
“If he gets a clear run I’d expect him to break 30 seconds.”
In his heat Shadow Mist, a son of 2015 Melbourne Cup winner Dyna Double One, missed the start but showed great field sense to cross to the rails and lead at the first turn.
“It was a super-brainy run for a pup,” Douglas said.
“The only time he’s been beaten, at Ballarat, they buried him off the red and he didn’t know what to do. But they’ve got to learn and that’s what he did.
“I think he’ll either win or get tangled up on Saturday.
“He’s 36 – 37 kilos and when big dogs get a check they find it hard to wind up again.”
Douglas took an instant liking to Shadow Mist when asked to look after him as a pup and wasn’t about to let him out of his sight.
“He’s out of Diva’s Shadow, which is one of Barry Smith’s ‘Mepunga’ bitches,” Douglas explained.
“The owners bought two pups out of the litter and they asked me if I could mind them for eight weeks because they couldn’t get into their rearer; he was snowed under.
“When they came here they were just magnificent animals and I said to the owners that we’ll rear them on the condition that they stay here with us afterwards!
“Early on Shadow Mist was only going steady but he’s jumped out of the ground.
“He keeps improving, which is what the good ones do. He’s kept chipping away and chipping away and I still think there’s a bit in him.”
Douglas will also have a strong hand in race 12 in Make A Sound (box 2) and Akashi Kid (box 4), Goodesy x Every Sound litter brothers to Akashi Boy, a recent fast 29.88s winner at The Meadows.
“They’re no world beaters but if they can run the 500m they’ll be handy dogs,” Douglas offered.
“They’ve trialled post-to-post and went better than Akashi Boy went before he ran 29.88s but I think the late race might get them because they’re not great kennel dogs. Make A Sound, in particular, gets very wound up.”