Owner Brandon Nolan was faced with a tough decision when unraced Zero Cool was diagnosed with chips in her hock; premature retirement or surgery that would cost almost as much as the bargain buy’s purchase price.
Nolan, whose mother Michelle now trains Zero Cool, and fellow owners Jesse Lamont and Jamie Oliver, former school mates, opted for the operation and after just ten starts their gamble has already paid off handsomely.
After a belated start to her career, Zero Cool has won six of her 10 starts, banking $21,905 in prizemoney, which will swell by another $12,000 if her four-race winning streak continues in the Snow Queen Final (525m) at The Meadows on Saturday.
“She’s going fantastic,” said Michelle, who trains a small team at Devon Meadows in partnership with husband Justin.
“My son Brandon and two mates bought her as a pup. They got her really cheap but she had issues with her hock early days and we didn’t think she was ever going to race.
“We took her to Chris Boemo (veterinary surgeon) and he found six chips in her hock. Chris could remove the chips but he made no promises about her being able to race.
“The boys had the choice between retirement; one of them was going to take ‘Marley’ as a pet, or the operation. They took the punt and she hasn’t looked back!
“Unfortunately they haven’t been able to get a photo with her yet because of the COVID situation but they’ll eventually get one. It would be great if it’s in a Group race!”
After a hat-trick of victories at Sandown and Cranbourne (2), Zero Cool continued on her winning way in the heats of the Snow Queen series, restricted to bitches and female handlers.
WATCH: Zero Cool win a heat of the Snow Queen at The Meadows from box five.
Contesting the last of three heats, Zero Cool clocked a smart 30.07s in horrendous conditions, with the two earlier run-offs won by Immersion, which is trained by the Nolans’ neighbour Peter Presutto, in 30.32s and Joe Borg’s Wonder Miss in 30.47s.
“I wasn’t expecting that time,” Michelle said.
“I thought she’d run something similar to the other two heat winners. I thought ‘Wow’!
“Peter (Presutto) only lives two doors down so it would be nice if we could get the quinella!
“Zero Cool (7) and Immersion (2) are both boxed well. Immersion has the pace and Zero Cool has the strength.
“I’m very happy with box seven. If she gets some room she’ll work around the outside but it’s all about the run to the first corner. It always is!
“She’s very clean-winded and would run 600m but I’m not sure whether we’ll do that with her. Her mother (Fancy Minter) was a stayer and comes from a staying line.”
While the Nolans only have five race dogs in work, including Pure Magic, which won at Warragul on Tuesday in best of night time, first-up from a three-month break, they’re flat out and it’s only going to get worse.
“Justin and I have a butcher shop, which has been struggling through COVID, and I work in nursing as well, so we’re busy!” Michelle laughed.
“We’ve also got three pups out of Hightan. Hightan ran third in the (2019) Cranbourne Cup and she went to Fernando Bale. We bred the litter with Peter (Presutto) and they’ve broken in really well.
“Zero Cool will be a broodbitch too. She needed to win at both city tracks and she’s done that now.”
The Snow Queen Final is race 8 at Saturday’s Meadows meeting to jump at 5.37pm.