Victorian trainer Michael Carter is in for one of the busiest but potentially one of the most successful weeks of his 30 year training career this Saturday night when he makes the long trip interstate to Wentworth Park. The Violet Town mentor journeyed to Wagga on Sunday sweeping up the Graeme Hull Memorial Cup and the Simaroo Lodge Consolation final with two members of his kennel but it is this Saturday most anticipated by the astute trainer as he lines up with Shadow Lane in the $75,000 to the winner Group One Peter Mosman.
On Sunday, Carter made the three hour drive north to Wagga with three members of his kennel engaged in two of the feature races on Wagga’s pinnacle night of racing. After a close second in his heat the week prior behind Cawbourne Classy, Jack Silver was the raging favourite in the Simaroo Lodge Cup Consolation. Drawn well in box two the son of Trewly Special missed the kick but managed to navigate his way into a handy position behind the leader before drawing clear to win by three and a half lengths in a slick 30.31 seconds.
Later in the night Jimmy Lane and Lilly Lane jumped from boxes two and four respectively in the lucrative $10,000 Graeme Hull Memorial Cup final with the former proving too strong for his opposition when scoring by two and a half lengths in a nippy 30.41 seconds.
“I was pretty confident going into the event”, said Carter,” They are much the same ability wise but he (Jimmy Lane) had the right box”
“I had tipped him to the crowd so I was pleased that he backed me up”.
Interestingly in a strange co-incidence, Jimmy Lane’s inadvertent namesake was also on course at Wagga on Sunday to cheer home the black speedster
“After the race a bloke came up to me shaking and shook my hand-his name was Jimmy Lane”, Carter mentioned.
Remarkably Carter’s winning streak in both the Consolation and Cup final had never been achieved before at the Wagga track however it should not have come as a huge shock with the Victorian keenly preparing the three chasers for the trip
“It was really good and what I aim for. I set them for it and I did my homework and got the results”
“They had trialled half a lap in preparation for the heats and it paid off when they had their first start”, Carter said.
With a fantastic feature race double already this week Carter will be hoping to make it a terrific trio with Shadow Lane looking a great chance although drawing box five in the Peter Mosman. The son of Where’s Pedro has been a brilliant greyhound down south claiming 10 of his 29 starts with a further 8 minors also notched up. Shadow Lane is a litter brother to Lilly Lane, one of the runners engaged for Carter in the Wagga Cup final with both littermates showing enormous potential.
“I brought them both as pups. They are out of Proven Lilly who only had a few starts before breaking down. I trained her brother (Proven Jett) and he made four group one finals and I knew she could run so that’s why I brought them”.
The purchase has been a successful one for Carter with the 34 kilogram powerhouse making the final on the back of two runs at Wentworth Park which resulted in two excellent seconds both in his heat and semi-final.
In his heat, Shadow Lane began from box three and was defeated by fellow Victorian Noble Bale whilst last week he also had the luxury of box three when navigating his way through the field to finish second behind local hope Johnny Fire. Whilst he was four and three quarter lengths off the winner it was a very determined effort after missing the kick and finding trouble, with Carter pleased with the run.
“He is a very serious dog. He chases his heart out”, Carter enthused, “He has a big motor and if I took him to Wagga with the others he would have just picked them up and carried them”.
With this in mind, Carter is optimistic of Shadow Lane’s chance in this week’s final, “He is the roughie in the race but I am half confident going in however it will all depend on box rise”.
“I have been working with him this week to get him to jump. Since travelling he has really blossomed and he is at the right time in his career being 2 ½ now and he is showing that he is a serious animal”.
“He is spot on this week. He is 100% fit and 100% sound so it just comes down to his box manners but he is also 100% mental”.
Shadow Lane will face a tough task made up of some of Australia’s best young sprinters with Carter thoroughly respectful of the depth and quality of the field and the scintillating times they have posted over the past two weeks.
“They normally don’t run those fast times in the colder weather which shows that they are classy animals”, Carter explained.
Despite this, if he jumps Carter enthuses his charge will be hard to beat, “I just hope he can produce what he has produced down here around Sandown. If he posts those early sectionals and can find the front at the first turn I don’t think they will catch him”
“The only dog I don’t want sitting on him if he does find the front is Xylia Allen but hopefully he can get a break”.
“I have no doubt that if he jumps as good as he can that he can run around 29.50”.
Carter looks set for a good night all round with Jack Silver drawn race one box one. Whilst he has a challenge with the promising Rashad also drawn in the event he is more than capable of pinging the lids and setting up a flying start for Carter on what he hopes will be a perfect night in the big smoke.
With only eight greyhounds currently in work, the feats Carter is achieving with his ultra-impressive kennel is enviable. Also on the rise is young middle distance pup Corridor who Carter is working through the distances and who he hopes will develop into a smart stayer. The son of Collision has won 8 from 20 and is certainly one to follow.
Regardless of what happens in the final this Saturday Carter looks set to enjoy a great run of success with his consistent kennel, with the Mosman looking to be the highlight of a great week.