Local trainer Peter Handley says he’s “a bit excited” about Darnum Dasher’s chances in Saturday night’s President’s Cup (680m) at Warragul.
Handley, who’s based at Darnum, just seven kilometres from Warragul, also bred and owns Darnum Dasher and says home track advantage and the step up to 680m are major plusses in their bid to topple Cup favourite Motor City Tiger.
“I think she has a very good chance,” said Handley.
“The one (Teardrop), two (Smooth Talker) and three (Motor City Tiger) are slow out and if Darnum Dasher can jump and lead from box four she’ll be hard to run down.
“She’s very tenacious and I don’t think she’s ever been run down when she’s got to the front.”
After winning four of her first eight starts, Darnum Dasher went the best part of a year without a win, due largely to a lengthy stint on the sidelines.
But she’s won two of her last four, including a win over the President’s Cup course and a last start 600m midweek success at The Meadows.
“She’s only warming up at 600m. She’s screaming out for distance but the problem is there aren’t a lot of distance races around,” said Handley.
“She won two in a row over 650m at Shepparton about a year ago but she injured a tendon and it took me about four months to get her back.
“The vet told me she mightn’t make it back but I took my time and didn’t rush her. Maybe she’s lost a little bit but she’s sound as now and I’m very happy with how she’s going.”
About three years ago Handley made the bold decision to move from Frankston to a greyhound property at Darnum to pursue his racing dream and after doing the hard set-up yards he’s very excited about what the future holds.
“I’ve always loved the greyhounds; it’s great fun,” said Handley.
“About 20 years ago I was talking to a fellow that was walking a greyhound. He told me he was breeding a litter and asked if I wanted one. I’ve been hooked ever since.
“I brought Darnum Dasher’s litter onto the property when we moved here and since then I’ve bred another litter out of Stretch Limo, by Fabregas. They’re 14 months old, broken-in and I’m over the moon with them.
“I only breed my own dogs. I never lose sight of them. I break them in – do everything.
“My son-in-law Rob Wilson and daughter Jackie are a great help and they love the dogs too. I’ve told Rob that you have to love the dogs and make sure they love you because then they’ll run through a brick wall for you.
“Every time they race, whether they come first or last, McDonalds is their reward!”