Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan, not enjoying the best of health at the moment, received a boost when Smiling Stan won last Sunday’s Peter Whitehead Memorial Maiden (400 metres) at Tara Raceway’s Christmas meeting.
Well fancied on the back of an impressive heat win the previous week, the black and white dog chased Rosa Matisse until the home turn where he took over before running out a 1½ lengths winner in 23.62 seconds.
Bred and owned by Lenehan, Smiling Stan, named after local steward Stan Bright, is by Mepunga Blazer out of OK Ollie.
Also owned and trained by Lenehan, OK Ollie, a daughter of Magic Sprite and Prancing Uno, raced on 53 occasions for only one win at Ballarat.
Lenehan said he had opted to breed with OK Ollie because there had been some depth in the litter through Become The Fuse (18 wins), Cigar Sam (13) and Emrys who won 19 races and $120,000 in stakemoney.