For Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott the win of the well-bred Nero Valentino at last week’s Mount Gambier time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway had been a while coming.
And there were some good winners after the $31 chance led all the way in the Commercial Hotel Maiden Stake (400 metres) from box one to defeat Ivory Boy by a length in 23.39 seconds.
It had been a case of Nero Valentino, a December 2018 whelping, racing just once at Cranbourne back in January before crossing the border for a short-lived stay in Adelaide. Then, in April, he joined Abbott’s Cadillac Kennels.
“But he’d been here only a week before sustaining an injury which then kept him off the scene for three months,” Abbott said.
“While he had no luck when resuming over 305 metres a few days earlier I thought he had shown enough to be in with a chance when stepping out over 400 metres. And that’s how it panned out.”
By Fernando Bale, Nero Valentino is out of Sweet Barbados, a winner of 11 races and $60,000 in stakemoney and a litter sister to Bruce Tycoon (36, $270,000).
Nero Valentino is raced by his breeders, Gary and Phil Micallef (Odds And Evens Syndicate). And the win carries on a successful association Abbott has enjoyed with the brothers.
In particular, he still has fond memories of Mo Town Roy, a half-brother to Bruce Tycoon. Back in 2016-17 Abbott won 17 races with the son of Razldazl Jayfkay x New Year’s Punch over distances ranging from 512 metres to 731 metres at Mount Gambier, Strathalbyn, Angle Park and Gawler.
Then, last Saturday night, he was successful at Horsham with One Tonne, a recent purchase by Kerry Hawker on social media after having won three races at Bendigo from 10 starts.
The well-named black dog, who strips at around the 40 kilograms mark, settled in third spot in the Horsham 410 metres sprint before finishing well in the straight for a narrow win in 23.72 seconds.
One Tonne is by Matt’s Entity out of Pamela Rocks, the sire a winner of 49 races from 103 starts and also the Healesville 300 metres straight track record holder at 16.22 seconds.
And Pamela Rocks, who was a 650 metres winner at Shepparton, traces back to Brian Lenehan’s legendary Sydney Gem line.
Hawker and Abbott have since purchased three pups from Pamela Rocks’s next litter. These are by high profile sire Fernando Bale although Abbott says it is the dam he looks at when selecting a pup.
“As far as I am concerned the dam of any pups we select must be able to run out a strong 500 metres. And there certainly appears to be plenty of strength in this line.”