Training newcomer and Wonthaggi football coach Lee Rowe is confident the step up to 600m won’t hinder promising galloper Triple Double’s bid to complete a winning hat-trick at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Triple Double has won his last two starts at The Meadows over the 525m course, recording commanding victories in heat and final of a restricted win series, featuring a flying 29.96s qualifying performance.
“I was really pleased with his heat win; going sub-30s was sensational,” said Rowe.
“To be honest, I thought he was probably a 30.10s dog at The Meadows but he’s got a really strong run-home, which he hasn’t been able to show too often because he’s been finding a bit of trouble.
“Then he came out and won the final too, which was really good. The time wasn’t as quick, but as they say they don’t put the time on the cheque!
“He’s still a young dog and I think there’s some upside over the next two or three months.”
The winner of seven of his 20 starts, Triple Double, a son of Meadows 600m record holder Dyna Double One, will be making his second appearance over the middle distance course, having finished unplaced back at just his fourth start.
“If I’ve done anything wrong with the dog that was probably it,” Rowe conceded.
“It was a bit too early in his career but I know the dog a lot better now and I’ve got no doubt about him running it out on Saturday.
“I’m forever learning, especially since I’ve only been training full-time for the last 12 months.”
Triple Double moves from box one at his latest victory to the seven alley for Saturday’s step up in distance and with Rowe believing the draw’s in his favour he represents excellent value at $6 in TAB’s market.
“I don’t think box seven will worry him because he doesn’t seem to like having dogs on his right shoulder from what I’ve seen,” Rowe explained.
“Hopefully he can get through the first corner safely, like the rest of the field, and get clear running and show what he can do.
“He showed potential early doors and I’ve always had an opinion of him.
“He broke 25.30s three runs in a row at Ballarat earlier in the year. We threw him in the deep end in the (Western Districts) Derby and he made the final. It was probably a bit of a pipedream thinking he could win it but it was good experience for him.”
In normal times, Rowe would be dividing his mentoring efforts between greyhounds and footballers; however his role as senior coach of Wonthaggi in the Gippsland League has been put on hold by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m focusing 100 per cent on the greyhounds with no footy,” said Rowe.
“Greyhound racing and football are similar in that if you put the effort in, you get the rewards.
“I’ve got seven race dogs and five pre-trainers, so the kennels are full.
“I also train Belt Up Ronny, which will be stepping up to 700m, and I’ve got a couple of Charlie Azzopardi’s bitches that have a bit of toe but on natural ability I’d say Triple Double would be the best I’ve got at the moment.”