Ballarat stock agent Bill Middleton has been involved with the greyhound industry for most of his life, but through an association with Lawrence trainer Ken Whelan was enticed to take a share in a standardbred mare named Djasker last year.
Djasker, a six-year-old daughter of Wind Cries Maori and Tachometer, after winning races at two, three and four years old when in the Ross Graham stable, broke through for her first win since September 2012 when successful in the Morning Melodies Book Now Trotters Handicap at Kilmore on Saturday night.
In what was the drive of the night by Daryl Douglas, Djasker stepped safely from 10m, avoiding several gallopers to settle four back in the running line with Conchs Critter showing her usual manners to pint straight to the front from barrier five.
Making a lightning move to park outside the leader racing for the bell, Douglas controlled the race for the final circuit allowing Djasker to surge to the front on the final bend.
Driven vigorously in the straight, Djasker held on to score by a half-head in a thrilling finish over 40m back marker Salute The Wind, with Im Anonymous close up third in a mile rate of 2:08.0 on a rain-affected track.
Raced in partnership with Bill, Merna Whelan and Peter Watson, all are hopeful that Djasker will now make her way through the grades.
By Len Baker
Harness Racing Victoria