Novice trainer Ricky Jarvis admits he’s learning on the job with exciting home-bred sprinter Rufiano, which is drawn to continue his excellent recent form in Race 6 at The Meadows tonight at 8.17pm.
Rufiano, which has won eight of his 18 starts and four of his last five, is the dream result of Jarvis and brother Shayne’s first breeding foray.
Ricky only took over the collar and lead with Rufiano in September, with Rodney Ashworth having guided the son of My Bro Fabio through his first 14 starts.
“My brother Shayne and I are partners with the dogs and we gave Rufiano to Rodney while our kennels were being built,” explained Ricky, who is based in the Gippsland town of Tyers.
“It was always the plan to get the dogs back once the kennels were finished.
“Rufiano’s been going pretty well. He really surprised us with his last win at Sale, running such a good time (29.17sec).
“He’s been very competitive against some pretty handy dogs. He ran second to Fernando Mick at Cranbourne and second to Fernando Cazz there too.”
Tonight’s inside draw is ideal, with Rufiano having won three of four career starts from the rails alley, including an 8.5L victory in a slick 29.94sec at The Meadows on August 28.
“From the ‘red’ he should be hard to beat if he runs anything like he did last week at Sale,” Jarvis said.
“That’s where you want to be. It’s a big help!”
After joining Shayne in the ownership of Rufiano’s mother Jasocate, the brothers decided to try their luck in the breeding barn and they’re understandably delighted – albeit also pleasantly surprised – with the results so far.
WATCH: In-form sprinter Rufiano (8) set Sale alight last Sunday with a scorching 29.17sec victory, less than 3L outside the 520m track record.
“We thought about buying a pup or breeding ourselves and decided to have a go at breeding,” Ricky explained.
“Fay Ridis bred the litter for us because we didn’t have the facilities.
“It’s all just snowballed from there. We’ve been kissed. It’s the luck of the draw – everybody is looking for a good dog!
“We weren’t originally going to train any of them; we were going to sell a few and own a few.
“Rufiano is the best in the litter by far. There’s no favouritism; they all get treated the same, he’s just got the ability. He’s very lightly raced but they’re all late bloomers.
“I’ve always loved greyhounds. Dad used to have dogs and we used to go out to Peter Giles’ place quite often.
“I’ve had my trainer’s licence for a while but haven’t trained many – only two or three. Shayne has his handler’s licence and he’s going to get his trainer’s licence too. We’ll try our best!”