NOELENE Holloway celebrated the biggest win of her training career on Saturday night when Magic Spring scored a determined victory in the Group 1 National Derby (520 metres) at Wentworth Park.
Jumping brilliantly from box six, the striking black greyhound strode to a clear early lead in the charge towards the first turn, setting the pace over race favourite Asa Killer Queen (box four).
Tensions started building down the back with Magic Spring, not noted for his strength, leading by just over a length, but the son of Spring Gun and Fascinate Marina showed tremendous grit, kicking clear to put a gap on his rivals and stride away to score by four-and-three-quarter lengths at the finish.
Holloway said she was anxious entering the back straight, with her nerves quickly turning to elation when Magic Spring crossed the line in first place.
“I was worried down the back because I hadn’t really studied the other dogs in the race so I had no idea who the four was – I just remember hoping that he didn’t catch him – and it was strange because I didn’t say a thing behind the boxes last night and I am normally screaming and cheering the whole way,” Holloway told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It wasn’t until he got past the home turn and there was a little bit of a scrimmage behind him that I realised that he was home – it was an amazing thrill.”
Magic Spring recorded best of night figures when scoring in 29.96, bringing up his tenth career victory at the Ultimo circuit.
For Holloway the victory has been made even sweeter by the fact she owns and trains Magic Spring, a son of her very own brood bitch Fascinate Marina, which she bred, reared and broke-in herself.
Fascinate Marina has proven to be a gold mine for Holloway, with ‘Sammy’ so far producing 121 winners from her first two litters, with her offspring having won over $450,000.
“Before I want to the track last night I told her (Fascinate Marina) that her son was in a big final and that he was going to make a name for her – and that’s exactly what he did.
“I am very thankful.”
Holloway said Magic Spring will now be aimed at the Group 2 Cyril Rowe Gold Cup (472 metres) at Bulli, the heats of which will be held on February 12.
“It is a similar sort of track to Maitland and he holds the record there so I think it should suit him being such a high speed dog,” Holloway said.
“When you get a dog like him you have to have a go at those type of races.”
Also celebrating a maiden Group 1 triumph on Saturday night at Wentworth Park was Robert Cooke who took out the National Futurity (520 metres) with Cash In Motion.
Despite finding bother soon after box rise, Cash In Motion was able to find a spot along the fence and weave her way through the pack, railing underneath the leaders Lyka Allen (box six) and Fantastic Skye (box eight) in the home straight to score by a nose in 30.29.
Cash In Motion has now won 16 of her 33 starts, with the Group 1 Futurity trophy now sitting alongside her win in last year’s Group 3 Ipswich Gold Cup, with the daughter of Swift Fancy and Teddy’s Jackpot now having earned $178,295 in career earnings.