John Barbara has done such a good job with promising youngster Alamosa Bill, which is chasing his third win from his last four starts at The Meadows on Saturday night, that he feared owner and fellow trainer Glenn Rounds would take him back.
Alamosa Bill is a litter brother to Amarillo Highway, which is trained by breeder Rounds and has created a big impression in winning seven of his 12 starts.
Rounds handed sibling Alamosa Bill over to John Barbara and after a slow start, impacted by a broken toe and canine gastro, he’s now starting to make his mark and has been ultra-impressive since stepping up to 500m this month.
“I actually thought Glenn (Rounds) might take him back off me,” Barbara said.
“Originally, Glenn had too many dogs and he asked me if I wanted to have a go with him. Glenn said to see how he goes and if it didn’t work out he’d sell him and we’d get half each.
“He broke a toe at his second start at Ballarat and had some time off and since then he’s come good.
“I called Glenn and said ‘this dog is a freak’. I thought he might want him back but he said ‘you’ve done the work, so you keep him’.
“Glenn’s a really good owner. He never worries and lets you do your job, which takes the pressure off.”
After running a fast 29.92s at his Meadows debut, Alamosa Bill qualified for Saturday night’s Sky Racing Final with a last start 30.19s heat success, his third win from seven starts.
WATCH: Alamosa Bill win his last start at The Meadows from box six.
“He’s had a few setbacks but the dog can run,” said Barbara.
“His main problem is that he’s got to get to the fence. When he gets to the fence he’s electrifying.
“He’s hit and miss out of the boxes too. He came out and ran 5.07s a couple of starts ago and last week he ran 5.15s. When he ran the 5.07s he went 17.67s to the back, which was quicker than Slingshot Hammer went that day.
“He’s still learning but when I trialled him and another good dog of mine, Fearless, post-to-post at The Meadows, Fearless went 24.80s and this dog went 24.60s.
“Amarillo Highway is the quickest one in the litter but this dog wouldn’t be far away.”
That favourable comparison with his high class brother is a great recommendation for Saturday’s 6/7th grade assignment, where despite drawing awkwardly in box four, Alamosa Bill is TAB’s $3.80 second elect.
Rails runner Mepunga Royal, trained by Jeff Britton, is the $2.60 favourite.
“There doesn’t look to be too much speed on his inside and if he gets to the fence or is sitting second he’s got a good chance but he needs luck in running.”
Photo by Jason McKeown.