Prebbleton octogenarian Ian Dobson came saw and conquered with his talented pacers Jay Dub and Return to Sender at Winton yesterday.
Dobson said there was a strong possibility his gifted brace would seek further honours in Southland. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained Jay Dub, a juvenile of high promise and a son of the late Jack Smolenski's former star Champagne Princess, may return south for the Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham on February 22 after his auspicious front running debut in the Southern Bred Southern Reared Juvenile Mobile Pace.
After his record breaking win at Wyndham last Sunday, Return To Sender backed up stylishly when he walloped 13 rivals in the Remarkable Shard Mobile Pace. From a difficult draw, he settled on the outside of the third line, exploded five wide at the straight entrance and won with consummate ease.
Trainer Robert Dunn, whose son Dexter reined the impeccably bred son of Mach Three and New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, told the Southland Times from his Woodend Beach stable that the horse was ''going from strength to strength with maturity.''
''We knew he was a bit small and immature early but he has never stopped strengthening with time,'' Dunn said.
Owner Dobson sold his dam Mainland Banner with Return To Sender in embryo to Melbourne businessman Peter Chambers and bought him back as a yearling when Mark Jones alerted trainer Dunn of his availability for sale.
After some persuasion from Dunn, Dobson outlaid $90,000 to buy him.
''I know it was a lot of money but I don't regret it now,'' Dobson enthused after his fourth win yesterday.
Trainer Dunn, who left the horse with Tony Barron to fit for yesterday's win, said:
''Any horse that can back up and win in such fast time in the space of five days is good.''
Assessing Jay Dub, driver Blair Orange said he possessed the potential to improve and was ''a beautifully mannered and gaited colt.''
Orange is only seven wins off 900 successes in only 15 seasons of competition. He is well qualified to claim Jay Dub as Kindergarten Stakes material after winning the 2007 renewal with Ohoka Arizona and reining Lennon to share major honours with Bought in the Pub in 2003.
Nathan Williamson said his capable trotter Nickelson would return to Winton on February 25 in an attempt to complete a hat-trick of wins.
Posting his fifth win from only 16 starts, Nickelson was rewarded for splendid placed form with a win at Ascot Park on January 16 and again impressed yesterday.
''We thought we could sell him earlier but nobody wanted to buy him,'' said Williamson, who trained Phil's Folly to win the Workouts Trot yesterday.
A $22,000 yearling sales buy, Rattling Thunder confirmed his grand debut fifth at Invercargill when he again unwound genuinely to win the Hamish Hunter Pace, impressing driver Allan Beck in the process.
Alister Black trains the promising gelding for Branxholme brothers and former Morton Mains farmers Ian and Lindsay Thomson.
- The Southland Times