Nino De Oro is poised to give Indonesian-born trainer Subawa Ngurah his biggest win in a decade as a hobby trainer by taking out tomorrow afternoon’s lucrative Zoom Top Maiden Final at Goulburn.
Having her first race start, Nina De Oro led from the first turn to win her heat of the $10,000 to the winner final in 25.10, which was quickest of the eight qualifying races.
Ngurah, who came to Australia from Bali 40 years ago, owns a security business but for relaxation trains a small team of greyhounds at Tallong, near Goulburn.
“I have a house in a Sydney suburb but six years ago I also bought a property at Tallong to have space to train my greyhounds,” Ngurah said.
“After arriving in Australia I became friends with Steve Milligan and Fred Malone, two greyhound trainers. They introduced me to the sport and I became fascinated with greyhounds because they are such beautiful, gentle animals.
“After training a few dogs from a suburban backyard I bought at Tallong and through having the room there to house several greyhounds I obtained Nino De Oro. Barry Ward, the former Canterbury-Bankstown rugby league first grade forward, was looking for somewhere to keep his retired racer Solar Pak.
“I offered to look after her and in lieu of a cash payment I accepted a puppy from her first litter, sired by the great Fernando Bale. Nino De Oro is the puppy I selected and while it is too early to predict she is going to be my best greyhound, she is very promising.”
Nino De Oro was heavily backed in her heat following a blistering 24.88 trial for the Goulburn 440m trip and she will no doubt have support once again tomorrow for the $10,000 final.
Second fastest qualifier for Tuesday’s final is Famous Prince, who came from box one to win in 25.12.
Famous Prince is prepared by leading Goulburn trainer Denice Warren, who set the previously unraced greyhound for the Zoom Top series six weeks ago.
“Famous Prince showed good early pace when he won a performance trial at Goulburn on June 13 so I told his owners, Ron Brook and Rod Perrin, who live in Bundaberg, I was going to wait for the Zoom Top Maiden with their dog,” Warren said.
“He missed the jump a bit in his heat but Famous Prince is capable of beginning quicker and running better time in the final.”
Yass-based Neil Staines, a former shearer, has two finalists with Bogan Doonie (a 25.16 heat winner) and Tullabung Gowdy (25.25).
“On times they record in trials there is nothing between my pair,” Staines said.
“But Tullabung Gowdy in particular has a lot of potential as he only jumped midfield in his heat and had to push his way through the pack to lead at the first turn.
“I have trained several greyhounds for his owner Robert Hill, while I trained Agni, the dam of Bogan Doonie, for that dog’s owner Graham Dixon, who is from Parkes in western NSW.”
Charlie Gatt, who was kennel foreman for legendary trainer Paul Cauchi when he took out the 1976 National Sprint Championship with Clover Duke, believes his Zoom Top finalist Saint Gallon can improve on his 25.25 heat performance.
“Saint Gallon possesses more early speed than he displayed in his heat when he had to work hard to get from box six to reach the early lead,” Gatt said.
“If Saint Gallon jumps cleanly in the final he is capable of leading all the way and going faster than 25.25.”
The other heat winners making up Tuesday’s lineup are Rooster Bush (25.27), Wave Breaker (25.45) and Lagoon Lucky (25.62).
Ironically Wave Breaker is from the kennel of Steve Milligan, one of the trainers who introduced Ngurah to greyhound racing.