Not only was the Rodney Campbell team member shooting for three wins in succession, but being one of the progeny of former champion stayer Chinatown Lad suggested that he would be suited ideally.
Sent out a $10 chance and drawn in the blue box, he flew the lids and was able to dictate terms in the premier position, eventually scoring by almost five lengths while recording a time of 35.10.
“When An That was racing in Victoria it was suggested to me that he be tried over a longer journey, so I decided to give it a try when he returned home and I am very pleased that I did,” Campbell explained this week.
“He has now won three in a row by leading on each occasion. He may have been a bit lucky the first time but has since proved that he has what it takes.”
Purchased by Campbell as a ten month-old pup, An That had his first two runs in Tasmania in June 2012, but unfortunately incurred the wrath of the stewards and was sent to Victoria to be re-educated and ultimately race, only returning home a couple of months ago.
“He won seven races in Victoria and now has ten on the board. He is quite promising and I may even take him back to The Meadows to race over the middle distance in a week or two,” he explained.
A painter by trade and involved in a family business, Campbell followed his father (also Rodney) into the sport and enjoyed instant luck with a smart chaser called Chick Mobile.
“I was spoiled to a degree, Chick Mobile won nine races and contested a Hobart Thousand, so I was very fortunate,” he recalled.
The young trainer currently has three greyhounds in work and is also rearing a litter of pups by former local champion Big Moose.
He holds high hopes for the lightly raced Surf Lorian bitch Your Nothin, about to return to the track following injury.
“She’s only had three starts and put seven lengths on the opposition as an odds on favourite at her second outing, but unfortunately went sore after that and had to be spelled,” he explained.
Another member of his team, the former Victorian chaser Riverside Ronnie by Vapour Whirl, had to be put down last week after crashing into the Tattersalls Park running rail.
Campbell has also been seen in the winner’s circle this year with Your Nothin’s litter brother Reg’s Big Boy, which won four of 10 outings before also breaking down.
Work commitments will prevent Campbell from increasing the size of his team in the immediate future.
“We start early doing the greyhounds and then work long hours painting, so a large team for me is out of the question,” he explained.
“Besides, by preparing your own greyhounds you only have yourself to blame if something is amiss and I am happier doing it that way.”