Lakeview Cruiser has run second at his last four starts and young Metung trainer Harley Whelan fears it could be more of the same in Sunday’s Dunkley’s Machinery Rising Stars heats (440m) at Sale.
Lakeview Cruiser, which is trained, owned and bred by 22-year-old Harley and his family, has won only one of his eight career starts, but he’s finished in the minor placings in the other seven, including five frustrating seconds.
“He always seems to run second,” said Whelan.
“It looks a bit like that might be the case again on Sunday because Jason Thompson has one in the race (Louie Lou) that ran 25.60s at Warragul last start.
“Lakeview Cruise breaks 25 seconds at Sale pretty comfortably and he’s still only 19 or 20 months old, so hopefully he’ll keep improving.
“I think he’s a place chance again. He’ll have to do everything right to win but he’ll be trying!”
Lakeview Cruiser might be in Harley’s name as trainer but the Whelan greyhound racing operation is very much a family affair with dad Peter, mum Monique, brother Luke and sisters Lana, Christine and Brooke all hands-on.
While Sale’s Rising Stars series, restricted to sprinters with 1-4 wins, is the immediate focus, the Whelans are eying off an even bigger target with Lakeview Cruiser’s Fernando Bale – Lakeview Maisey litter brother Lakeview Walter.
Lakeview Walter has earned a shot at Group 1 glory after winning three of his five starts, the last two at Sandown Park in 29.41s and 29.70s.
“Lakeview Walter will be going for the Silver Chief heats on Boxing Day,” Harley explained.
“We’ve also got Lakeview Max, which is from another litter (My Redeemer – Lakeview Grace). He’s won four out of four and was going to the Silver Chief as well but he pulled up a little bit sore after his last win at Sandown.
“It’s a toss-up between ‘Max’ and ‘Walter’ for the best dog in the kennel at the moment.
“Lakeview Cruiser broke in as good as the others but he’s had some trouble with his bloods. He trialled this week at Warragul and went as good as he’s ever gone so fingers crossed he’ll get another win soon.
“Dad had dogs when he was younger but then got out of it for a while. We bought a pup called Metung Missile about ten years ago and we’ve had them ever since. The dogs are called Lakeview because that’s the name of our farm.”
Photo by Jason Mckeown