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It’s all ‘Happening’ for staying find

After delighting owner/trainer Deb Coleman with a promising staying debut in the heats of the Group 1 Sandown Cup, Not Happening will drop back in distance for Saturday night’s GR8 Eight Series special event (600m) at The Meadows.

Given a ‘baptism of fire’ in Australia’s most prestigious distance race, Not Happening started favourite and led until the shadows of the post when a close fourth to Queenslander Maggie Moo Moo, beaten less than two lengths.

“We were thrilled with his run. It was his first ‘700’ and he’s only just turned two,” Lara-based Coleman said.

“We knew he was a bit underdone and didn’t have the experience of the other dogs so we were surprised at his price. We couldn’t believe he started favourite but to lead and only get run down in the last 20 metres we were rapt.

“He’s done some things we’ve been pretty astounded by.

“We really put him in the heats for the experience, knowing he’s tough enough that we could put him in a ‘700’ and it wouldn’t knock him around too much.

“Like Bart Cummings used to say, stayers need the miles in their legs and he just needs a bit more grounding and a few more 600s.”

Coleman and partner Rob Camilleri know a thing or two about training stayers, having engineered an unforgettable Sandown Cup upset with $34.20 outsider Rajasthan in 2019, so it will be very interesting to see what Not Happening produces when next tested over 700m.

But first Not Happening (Box 7) will be striving to enhance his imposing statistics at The Meadows when he reverts back in trip for the Gr8 Eight event – Race 8 at 8.57pm.

A well-related son of Rippin’ Sam, a G1-winning litter brother to champion stayer Tornado Tears, Not Happening has won two of four starts over 600m at The Meadows, while also winning three from four over 525m.

Not Happening is $7.50 with TAB in a competitive affair, while the Coleman/Camilleri kennel also has $19 outsider Pilbara (Box 5) in the race.

“After Not Happening led from box one in his Sandown Cup heat I would’ve liked him to draw near the rails again to see if he could do it over 600m,” Coleman said.

“Out of the three dogs we have by Rippin’ Sam – the other two are So Predictable and Overflow Lisa – Not Happening does show more pace than the other two.”

After So Predictable ran fifth in a Sandown Cup heat, Coleman has also opted to drop back to 600m in Race 4 at 7.38pm, where he’s a $7.50 chance.

“His run in the heats wasn’t too bad,” Coleman offered.

“He stopped and started and had dogs in his way but at one stage I thought he might run a drum. He just needs to learn how to race; it’s all a learning curve with the three of them.”

WATCH: Versatile Not Happening (2) clocks a smart 34.10sec over 600m at The Meadows in early March.

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