Dawn Mini makes it a treble for Keith

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING -

WITH four gen­er­a­tions of sup­port­ers cheer­ing her on, it’s no sur­prise grey­hound Dawn Mini is now a group race win­ner.

Dawn Mini – named af­ter owner and trainer Keith Pedrana’s beloved mum – pro­duced a bril­liant run to tri­umph in the Group 3 Evans And Son Jew­ellers Ladies Bracelet at Went­worth Park last week­end.

Vic­tory in the fi­nal se­cured a third group win as a men­tor for pop­u­lar in­dus­try fig­ure Pedrana, who is based at Orchard Hills in Syd­ney’s west, and who has been train­ing for about a decade.

The mar­ried father-of-four’s size­able sup­port crew for last Satur­day night’s race in­cluded his 81-year-old mum, who trav­elled from her nursing home to the Glebe cir­cuit to cheer her name­sake on.

“I couldn’t put it into words how great it was to have my mum there,” Pedrana said.

“It was un­be­liev­able. We picked her up on the way and dropped her off af­ter­wards. It was a late night for all of us, but it was worth­while.

“It’s also my first group race with my grand­son here, which makes it even more spe­cial.

“I just race for my mum and my fam­ily, so I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter evening. I’m on top of the world.”

De­spite be­ing the fastest qual­i­fier in the pre­vi­ous week’s heats, Dawn Mini was rated a $17 chance in a com­pet­i­tive fi­nal.

She made light of her out­sider tag, how­ever, jump­ing bril­liantly from box five and lead­ing the field home by two lengths in a smart 29.94.

It was a first group win for Dawn Mini and took her prize­money earn­ings to just be­low $90,000.

“She has the good box man­ners and early speed you look for,” Pedrana said.

“She puts in ev­ery­thing and has got a big ticker.

“With her I have just raced her rather than tri­alling and the proof’s in the pud­ding – she’s jump­ing out of her skin. I think I will get an­other 50 or 60 starts out of her yet.”

The vic­tory was an­other mem­o­rable mo­ment for Pedrana, who pur­chased his first grey­hound in 1992.

Pedrana is known for mak­ing one of the big­gest life gam­bles in grey­hound rac­ing. In 2002 he sold his house and clean­ing busi­ness – with the bless­ing of his wife Tracey – to pur­chase cham­pion grey­hound Brett Lee as a stud dog.

The gam­ble paid off, with Brett Lee be­com­ing one of the most suc­cess­ful and pop­u­lar sires in grey­hound rac­ing. Fit­tingly, Dawn Mini her­self is by Brett Lee. De­spite his suc­cess over the years in grey­hound rac­ing, Pedrana still does long hours pur­su­ing the sport he loves.

“The other night we raced at Dapto,” Pedrana said. “We didn’t get to bed un­til 2.30am and then I was up at 5.30am that morn­ing to go tri­alling at Ap­pin.

“It’s the life we have with our grey­hounds. It doesn’t mat­ter where you win, whether it’s at a coun­try track or a big race like the one last Satur­day night. Any win gets you smil­ing.”

Any win gets you smil­ing, out of bed and on your toes in the morn­ing

KEITH PEDRANA

Grey­hound trainer Keith Pedrana and pic­tured (in­set) with master grey­hound Brett Lee.

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