Western Victoria: Tom eyes May for Friday foursome
By Tim Auld, March 25, 2024 - 12:55 PM

Popular Warrnambool trainer Tom Dabernig is looking forward to his home track’s May carnival after a career-best four winners across two venues last Friday.
Norwoods, Mighty George and Arizona Dreaming won at Horsham for Dabernig while Kikusui scored at Mount Gambier.
Dabernig said all four might run at the ’Bool carnival, which this year runs from April 30 to May 2.
“We’ll see how things are going but the Warrnambool carnival is in the back of my mind for them,” the multiple Group 1-winning trainer said.
“I think there’ll be races at the carnival for all four. It’s always a big thrill for owners to have their horses running at the carnival.”
Dabernig said after the first-up maiden victory of Norwoods ($7) over 1400 metres that there is plenty of upside to the galloper, who was having just his second start.
“He’s been slow maturing,” he said. “We’ve just given him time.
“He was very green at his first start (11th at Coleraine last September). I’m sure with a bit of time and more ground he’s going to develop into a nice staying horse.
“Mighty George had a couple of niggling issues, which just needed a bit of time to get him over them. I thought his last run at Terang showed he was ready for a win and that played out on Friday.
“Arizona Dreaming went to the line strongly.”
Dabernig sang the praises of his apprentice Jordyn Weatherley after she rode three winners at Mount Gambier last Friday including Kikusui, who started a $2.05 favourite first up in the 900-metre maiden.
“Jordyn is doing a great job,” he said. “She’s putting in the hard yards and getting rewarded for her efforts.
“I’m confident plenty of trainers will book her for rides over the winter months as her claim will be valuable.”
Weatherley’s other winners on Friday were Honour The Skills and Drink Then Kiss.
Ciaron salutes Al
Champion trainer Ciaron Maher admitted to a soft spot for his former jumper Al Garhood when the two-time Grand Annual winner was honoured by the Warrnambool Racing Club last Friday night.
Maher says Al Garhood gave his career a huge boost in his early years as a trainer.
“Al Garhood was family owned and gave us plenty of thrills,”  Maher said.
“He was just a tough horse. His record in jumps races around Warrnambool was amazing — apart from his two Grand Annual wins he also won two Brierlys.
“We bought him Garhood for $12,000 sight unseen after he’d been with a couple of other trainers. I only had five horses in work at the time and Al Garhood was the pin-up horse for me.
“He taught me so much about training. I was still leaning about the caper and he kept on producing his best.”
Al Garhood’s deeds were acknowledged last Friday night when the jumper was inducted into the club’s hall of fame.
Other inductees were William Lindsay, Bill Gibbins and the late jumps jockey Ted Byrne.
From the ’Bool to the top
Deepest sympathy is extended to the family of John Russell on the passing of one of this country’s finest racecallers.
Russell started his career in broadcasting more than 75 years ago in Warrnambool.
The passionate Cartlon fan went on to call 20 Melbourne Cups and often referred to his first, Gold And Black’s 1977 win, as one of his highlights.
The other two Melbourne Cup calls he rated highly were Kiwi’s victory in 1983 and Might And Power in 1997.
Eggs still on the menu
Preparations are well advanced for Hamilton Racing Club’s its first jumps meeting of the season on Sunday week, April 7.
Even though Easter will behind us, the club will be staging its third Hop to Hamilton raceday.
Club manager Peta Anderson said numerous activities are orgainsed for the day, with jumps and flat races on the program.
“It’s usually a big meeting for the club,” Anderson said.
“One of the highlights the children love is the Easter egg hunt but we’ve also got plenty of other things in place for the day.
“Another highlight will be a luncheon where (former top jockeys) Neville “Nifty” Wilson and Kelvin Bourke will be the guest speakers.
“Our track has gone through its summer renovation and will be irrigated to be in top shape for the jumpers.”
The first race is scheduled to start at around 1.00pm.


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