Passionate Richmond fan Marlene Schmidt refers to her Meadows specialist Javi as ‘Dusty’ after superstar Dustin Martin and she’s hoping he can deliver a trademark don’t argue to his rivals when he returns to his favourite circuit on Saturday afternoon.
Javi – kennel name Dusty – has an obvious love affair with The Meadows, with five of his six career victories coming at the track, and he’s TAB’s $3.60 favourite to boost that record in his heat of the Nestor/Schofield Memorial (race 3 at 4.10pm).
“He grows a leg at The Meadows,” said owner/trainer Marlene Schmidt, who trains a small team of six at Devon Meadows.
“He loves it there but he doesn’t like it at Sandown.
“Just driving into Sandown you can tell he doesn’t want to be there but he’s a totally different dog at The Meadows. It’s weird!
“He likes the two-turn tracks as well – he doesn’t go as well on the horseshoe tracks – so it’s basically The Meadows or nothing,” she added with a laugh.
Heats of the Nestor/Schofield Memorial are being held at both The Meadows and Sandown and fortuitously for Schmidt and Javi the $12,000 to-the-winner final is being held at The Meadows.
Javi has box four to contend with but Schmidt only has to look back to his most recent win at The Meadows, on July 22, when he also wore the blue vest and was an upset $34 all-the-way winner, clocking a personal best 30.02s for his pet 525m distance.
WATCH: Javi last win at The Meadows from box four at $34.
“That was a super win. I was very proud of him,” said Schmidt.
“He used to be a good beginner but I don’t think the way they’ve changed the boxing process has helped him.
“He’ll go in last again this week but his last win was the best he’s begun since they started boxing them differently so hopefully he can do it again.
“I think we underrate him a bit. We say he can’t win this time but then he surprises us.
“He’s up against a couple of handy dogs but it doesn’t look an overly hard race so we’re hoping but the main thing is that he gets around safely.”
Javi hails from the very handy Kinloch Brae – Amelia Christa litter, bred by Robin and Michelle Moore, who are also based at Devon Meadows, which features Group 1 Sapphire Crown finalist Chart Topper and Group 3 finalist Sixties Rocker.