Dale looks to build on new bench­mark

Myrtleford Times - - Sport -

LO­CAL horse trainer An­drew Dale has picked up where he left off, mak­ing a strong start to the new rac­ing sea­son.

Dale is com­ing off a ca­reer year in which he trained 14 win­ners, a mark he’s look­ing to sur­pass over the next 12 months.

Spring has started well with one of Dale’s geld­ings, Arthur Poritt, claim­ing back to back vic­tory’s in re­cent weeks.

The five year-old won at Grif­fith on Septem­ber 8 and fol­lowed up with vic­tory in the Bench­mark 66 over 1600m at Corowa last Mon­day.

Dale said smarter strat­egy and a strong back­ing from own­ers have been the keys be­hind the sta­ble’s most fruit­ful year and more en­cour­ag­ing re­sults.

“It’s been a pleas­ing start fol­low­ing on from last sea­son’s suc­cess,” Dale said.

“I’m still fairly new to train­ing but I’ think what I’ve learnt in the last lit­tle while is a lot more about plac­ing horses and tak­ing them to venues where they can win.

“You’re also only as good as the peo­ple around you and I’ve

This week brings typ­i­cal spring con­di­tions to the moun­tains, with a mix of sun, cloud, snow and rain, some warm days and some very cold nights. The com­ing days will be warm enough for the snow­pack to soften dur­ing the day­light hours, but the next cou­ple of nights will make it very hard as tem­per­a­tures drop be­low freez­ing. A cold front due to ap­proach the moun­tains late on Fri­day looks to bring a snowy Satur­day. 133cm nat­u­ral Open: Be­ware icy patch­esCom­ments: Ter­rain Parks OpenAd­vanced Tobog­gan Slope, Beginner Tobog­gan Slope, Panorama Park, Cas­tle Park Intermediate line , Cas­tle Park Ad­vanced Line, Drovers Hike Park been pretty lucky to have some good sup­port.”

Among Dale’s achieve­ments last sea­son was hav­ing one of his new­est horses, It’s A Fire­ball, break the track record at Nar­ran­dera over 1200m, in July.

The for­mer Myrtle­ford foot­ball coach has now trained 39 win­ners in a lit­tle over four years af­ter gain­ing his li­cence ahead of the 2014/15 sea­son.

Since start­ing out he’s been based in Al­bury and has grown his sta­ble to presently have 15 horses while in­volv­ing more peo­ple through shared own­er­ship.

“The most im­por­tant part about what we achieved this year was in­tro­duc­ing a whole lot of new clients, well over 100 in the last 12 months,” he said.

“We’re in­tro­duc­ing peo­ple at the lower end of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I can’t af­ford to pur­chase horses that are too ex­pen­sive so you buy tried horses and try and im­prove them.

“As an owner if it doesn’t work out you’re not get­ting fin­gers burnt and you’ll hope­fully have an op­por­tu­nity to move into an­other horse.

“All of our own­ers at some

Yet an­other per­fect spring day with a clear sky and a light northerly breeze. The snow has had an­other de­cent freeze overnight but it is not as hard as yes­ter­day morn­ing and the groomers feel like they will be ski­ing well from the get go. Slap on the screen and fol­low the sun for re­ally good turns all day. En­joy.

132cm Open Snow­mak­ing has con­cluded for the sea­son on Mt Hotham stage dur­ing the sea­son were in­volved in horses that were suc­cess­ful.”

This cam­paign will be Dale’s last reg­is­tered in NSW – pend­ing Rac­ing Vic­to­ria grants him a li­cence – with a move to the mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar ren­o­vated Wan­garatta Race­course on the cards.

Dale will move into one of two new 18-box sta­ble blocks and will have ac­cess to state of the art fa­cil­i­ties for rid­ing and horse re­cov­ery as well as a $1.3 mil­lion sand fi­bre track.

Dale’s wife Heather has been manag­ing the project, work­ing closely with Wan­garatta Turf Club chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Paul Hoysted in prepa­ra­tion for a move in the first half of next year.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing, it’s a big move but I feel the time is right af­ter train­ing for four years at Al­bury,” Dale said.

“It just makes sense and the horses will be pro­vided with the best op­por­tu­nity with bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties to de­velop them and train them.

“The sand fi­bre track will be fan­tas­tic and maybe just that lit­tle bit more in the train­ing fa­cil­i­ties al­lows us to ex­tract a few per cent more out of each horse.”

The snow will be soft for spring play to­day so start early. Cobun­gra plat­ter is run­ning 9am - 4pm and the tobog­gan run still has good cov­er­age. DP to Hotham trail still has enough cov­er­age for a skate, just a few spots where you have to take your skis off. Note: The tube park is now closed for the sea­son. Sun­screen on and get out there! 8cm nat­u­ral 106cm snow­mak­ing Open All Cross coun­try trails are patchy.

BRIGHT’S Ben Reid will be har­bour­ing hopes of a shock re­turn to Colling­wood’s side for Satur­day’s AFL Grand Fi­nal against West Coast.

The Pies are be­lieved to be putting some thought into mak­ing a change to the side that downed reign­ing pre­miers Rich­mond to qual­ify for their first grand fi­nal since 2011.

Reid was a mem­ber of Colling­wood’s pre­mier­ship side in 2010 but has ap­peared in just six games this sea­son.

The 29 year-old hasn’t played since round 10 af­ter go­ing down with a calf in­jury and then hav­ing two knee arthro­scopes late in the home and away sea­son.

but fit again, he has been an emer­gency for Colling­wood’s past two fi­nals.

Reid and Darcy Moore are the can­di­dates to come in to the side if the Pies opt to add more height to their de­fence to counter Ea­gles for­wards Josh Kennedy and Jack Dar­ling.

If one of the two does come in, it will likely be at the ex­pense of Tyson Gold­sack who only re­turned to the side for Colling­wood’s qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal against West Coast three weeks ago, af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a new re­con­struc­tion.

How­ever, the Pies would be chang­ing the struc­ture of a side that has given the club five wins in the past six matches.

Fol­low­ing last Fri­day night’s win, Colling­wood coach Nathan Buck­ley said ev­ery player on the club’s list still had a role to play whether or not they are named in the fi­nal 22 for Satur­day.

“I spoke to ev­ery one of the other play­ers who didn’t play tonight and said we’ve got an­other week of train­ing to do, we’ve got some prepa­ra­tion that needs to take place,” he said.

“When we get to the other side of this, we’ll have a cou­ple of re­ally im­por­tant train­ing ses­sions to pre­pare the 22 that play.’’

If Reid was to play he would do so along­side an­other lo­cal prod­uct in Myrtle­ford’s Jack Crisp who has lined up in ev­ery game this sea­son.

The re­bound­ing de­fender was one of Colling­wood’s best in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal tri­umph with 30 dis­pos­als and two goals.

It was one of, if not his best dis­play this year in what is ar­guably Crisp’s best sea­son at the top level.

Af­ter end­ing Rich­mond’s hopes of back-to back pre­mier­ships, Buck­ley said his team de­served their place in the last game of the sea­son.

“We’ve earned that op­por­tu­nity and we’ve taken ad­van­tage of that op­por­tu­nity by play­ing some good footy, and we’re not done yet,” he said.

“We’ve got an­other game to win, and we’ve been strong on ex­plor­ing our­selves, find­ing out what we’re ca­pa­ble of and we still don’t know, so we want to go and do that.’’

There is still snow for sight­see­ing and snow play. There is lim­ited to­bog­gan­ing at Dingo Dell (a small area to the far left of the main tobog­gan slope, per­fect for young chil­dren) and at Cresta the main tobog­gan slope has a short run end­ing on grass. The Horn still has a lot of snow on the road but is not con­tin­u­ous for ski­ing. The Horn Road is a great op­por­tu­nity for those who want to ac­cess more snow for some snow play and sight­see­ing - a short 5-800me­tres walk up the road! sight­see­ingg and snow pplayy Openp Din­gog Dell Café is open daily from 10am - 5pm dur­ing the Vic­to­rian school hol­i­days.

RIS­ING: An­drew Dale is en­joy­ing con­sis­tent suc­cess with his work as a trainer. By JUSTIN JEN­VEY

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