For some time, Portland trainer Neville Lenehan has been optimistically pressing his close friends Tom and George Dailly about sending him superstar Shima Shine for a crack at the Mount Gambier Cup.
While Lenehan didn’t quite get what he asked for – Shima Shine was in WA last weekend for the Group 1 Perth Cup heats – ‘Team Dailly’ handed him a couple of very talented sprinters for last Sunday’s Listed Mount Gambier Cup heats.
Fabriola Zad, a finalist in the G1 Hume Cup and G2 Cranbourne and Horsham Cups, and G2 Laurels placegetter Gypsy Bun made their way to Lenehan just days before the heats.
“Neville said he only needed 48 hours to put his polish on them!” George Dailly quipped.
Lenehan, who raced 1998 Melbourne Cup and 1999 Australian Cup and Golden Easter Egg finalist Star Of Mine with the Daillys and is a son of iconic breeder Brian, fulfilled his end of the bargain.
Class prevailed as Fabriola Zad and Gypsy Bun were both impressive heat winners on debut at Mount Gambier.
Fabriola Zad clocked a near-record 29.33sec, just .05sec outside Rockoon’s 512m benchmark, while Gypsy Bun posted 29.67sec.
“‘Nifty’ has been good friends with Tom and George (Dailly) for 30-odd years,” Lenehan’s partner Nicole Stanley said.
“Ever since Shima Shine won his maiden at Ballarat it’s been an on-going joke between Neville and Tom about sending Shima Shine here for the Mount Gambier Cup!
“Fabriola Zad and Gypsy Bun arrived about four or five days before the Cup heats and went terrific for their first look. We didn’t have the opportunity to trial them but they’re both experienced and they’re a bit better than the usual Mount Gambier dogs.”
Fabriola Zad has drawn box two for Sunday afternoon’s Cup final, with Gypsy Bun to exit four.
Lenehan’s Dailly recruits head a very strong Victorian presence in the Cup, joined by Zipping Zarbo – Box 1 (Deb Coleman), Fugacious – Box 7 (Jeff Guy) and Tiger Time – Box 8 (Kevin Ward).
Zipping Zarbo is TAB’s $2.15 favourite, ahead of Fabriola Zad at $2.90 and Gypsy Bun $7.50.
“Fabriola Zad was less than a length outside the track record, which was a pretty good effort first look and from box eight,” Stanley said.
“He just has to do what he did last week to be hard to beat but I think Gypsy Bun gets out pretty well, so she’s got a good chance too.
“Neville is hoping they might stay here after Sunday, the Warrnambool Cup is coming up, but he hasn’t asked the Daillys yet!”
Lenehan also has the first reserve in Hostile Savage.
“Hostile Savage has a fair bit of ability but he’s had lots of injuries. I’d love to see him scrape into the field for his owner Jim’s (Collins) sake,” Stanley said.
The Mount Gambier Cup is Race 8 on Sunday afternoon at 2.50pm AEST.
WATCH: Fabriola Zad (8) clocks a near-record 29.3sec in a Mount Gambier Cup heat last Sunday.
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