They say that patience is a virtue and that’s especially the case in the racing game.
Lara trainer Paul Mathieson is definitely an advocate; saying a patient approach has paid dividends with regally bred Disco Riot, which is ideally drawn in box one for Saturday night’s Grade 5 600m Final at The Meadows.
Disco Riot is bred in the purple, being a son of the legendary Brett Lee and freakish producer Ready To Riot, the dam of Melbourne Cup hero Whiskey Riot, Australian Cup winner Fernando’s Riot and Million Dollar Chase victor Mystic Riot, among others.
But Disco Riot was shaping as the ‘black sheep’ of the family until owner/breeder Kylee Osborne, partner of leading trainer Anthony Azzopardi, who prepared superstar older brother Whiskey Riot, gave Paul Mathieson a shot with the blueblood.
“He goes good but he’s been a funny dog,” said Mathieson.
“He’s well-bred – all of Anthony’s dogs are – but when he first came to me he didn’t want to chase.
“Anthony told me the dog can run and he can run. He’d trial really well – he trialled 25.30s at Ballarat – but then put him in a field and he wouldn’t produce it.
“I didn’t really do anything with him. I just waited until he decided he wanted to do it and then one day it clicked and he hasn’t looked back.”
Disco Riot relished the step up to 600m and an inside draw in two with a strong-railing victory in his heat of The Meadows middle distance series, clocking 34.84s to record his seventh win from 32 starts.
WATCH: Disco Riot win his heat from box two at The Meadows.
After drawing box one, from where he’s won three from seven, for Saturday’s final (race 7 to jump at 8.44pm) The Watchdog has rated him at $7.50, with Gerry O’Keeffe’s 34.54s heat winner Rostered Off (box 2) favourite at $2.60.
“He likes being inside so box one suits him,” Mathieson said.
“He’s not overly quick early but he’s a strong dog and chases his backside off now.
“I’m slightly confident he can win but it’s a very good field.”
While patience is a key factor in training success, so too is the backing of successful owners and Mathieson has found two excellent supporters in Azzopardi and prominent breeder Brian Parkinson, who between them account for his four-dog racing kennel.
“Brian helped me out to start with and then when Anthony moved to Victoria I helped him with building sheds and putting in yards,” Mathieson explained.
“I was only getting average dogs so Brian and Anthony have been fantastic. I also take four pre-trainers off Anthony, which he gives me because I take my time with them. I’ll take 16 – 20 weeks.
“It’s not about the money with me; I just enjoy working with the dogs and it’s very satisfying to see the work pay off.”
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