TASMANIAN stalwart Graeme Moate is hoping he can finally land a victory in the time-honoured Group 1 Hobart Thousand (461 metres) when his bonny bitch, Long View Belle, takes her place in the $75,000 final on Thursday night.
Moate, one of the most-respected trainers from the Apple Isle, has come painstakingly close to winning the feature on a number of occasions, including a close third in the 1976 final with Tassie champion Mystery Bridge.
In 2015 Moate prepares the improving Long View Belle which has been a model of consistency since starting her career earlier this year. The daughter of Fear Zafonic and Shanlyn Flossy is yet to finish out of the money in her 16 starts to date and ran a cracking race to finish two-and-three-quarter lengths second behind Bearville Azza in her heat last week.
Moate was very pleased with the effort and rates Long View Belle very highly moving forward.
“I thought it was a very good run last week. She is turning into a very handy little bitch and she just keeps making the step up every time I ask her to – she hasn’t missed a place yet in 16 starts,” Moate said.
“She is probably better than a lot of people think – she ran second in both the Young Star Classic and the Tassie Gold Cup – but it is a very tough field on Thursday night.”
Moate worked hard to get Long View Belle to the track, with the black bitch sent to him with sciatic nerve problems after breaking-in well in Melbourne.
“The lady that bred her Lyn Larsen took her to the vets and was told she would make a good GAP dog, that she would never race, and another vet said he could operate on her for $1,800 but he couldn’t guarantee she would be able to run,” he explained.
“Lyn rang me as a last resort – she asked me if I would take her and I thought she was worth a try so she sent her over and it took me three months to get her to the track – but it all worked and now she is going well.”
Long View Belle will jump from box four this week and is considered a long shot in the quality field, with Bet365 rating her a $51 chance to capture the title.
She will be up against a terrific bunch of greyhounds including dual Group 1 winners Above All (box five) and Dyna Double One (box seven), in addition to the talented Unlawful Entry (box two) and last week’s fastest qualifier, Bearville Azza (box three).
Moate concedes it is a tough task, but maintains a high opinion of his chaser heading into the final.
“I think she will break the 26 seconds at Hobart. She has probably got to do that on Thursday night to be any chance, but I do think it is only a matter of time before she does it.
“It is a tough race trying to beat the Melbourne Cup winner (Dyna Double One) as well as Bearville Azza which ran fourth in the Melbourne Cup.
“Unlawful Entry is a very good pup also and I think he is going to be a top liner in the future – there is a lot of chances in the race and I think luck is going to play a very big part.”
Moate says that after 60 years of training, he is more than ready to win the Hobart Thousand, something he has dreamed of for a very long time.
“It is something that every trainer in Tasmania wants to do – win a Hobart Thousand – I have had about 14 runners in the race over the years – I haven’t been able to win it yet but I am still trying.”