Day At The Track

Hellovaway dreams of a Group victory

06:07 PM 07 Jul 2016 NZST
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Hellovaway
Hellovaway

There will be a hell of a party up Stawell way on Saturday night if harness racing trainer Owen Martin’s pacer takes line honours in the Harness Breeders Victoria Jane Ellen.

Victory in the $30,575 Group 3 mares race would deliver Martin, 63, the trots trainer’s first victory at Group level and in Hellovaway he has a genuine hope.

“It would be a dream come true if she won,” Martin said. “I just hope she runs a good race and whatever happens will happen.”

A winner in three of her last five starts, Hellovaway has twice tasted success at Tabcorp Park Melton across her 37 starts, most recently in the Gippsland Racing Training Centre Pace on November 20.

The six-year-old has raced twice at Group level, running a competitive seventh in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series four-year-old mares final at her fifth career start, and then sixth in the Mark Gurry and Associates Cup at Mildura on April 9.

Participation alone is notable, given the mare by Dream Away out of Jilliby Jasmine began in modest terms.

“(Me and a mate) went to Mount Gambier to look at another horse and then on the way back went to the Cravens (in Terang), who had her advertised,” Martin said. “She was only a small thing and they couldn’t get her going. We bought her, it wasn’t much money, about $1000.”

It wasn’t until deep into age four that she made it to the track.

 “She grew, but it was a hell of a lot of trouble to get her to pace around corners,” Martin said. “I gradually got her confidence up and she started to find her feet.

“She never showed anything brilliant, I thought she might win one or two races, but once she started racing she just got better. She is headstrong, she did her own thing sometimes and that made her look average. Now she has put it together.”

She first stepped on to a race track on May 31 at Ballarat and from barrier four found the front and cleared away to win by 13.7m.

“She was a one-paced sort of horse, then we went to Ballarat for her first start and she won in a 1:56.7 mile rate in a C0,” Martin said. “She showed that much speed that night we almost fell over. I think she’s a true racehorse, her work at home is OK without being spectacular, but once she gets to the race track she turns it on.”

She is now, at age six, 37 starts in which have produced nine victories and a further nine placings for $57,367 in stakes.

That includes three wins amid four placings in her last five starts, and Martin said his stable was in good order owing to more than a drop of rain.

“We had it very dry out here for a long time and a lot of the horses get sick of being fed dry hay and having no green grass for them,” Martin said. “I was carrying bore water for them and that was a bit of factor too.

“(This year's rain) is one of the best years we’re had for 10 or 12 years. The paddocks are just starting to get a bit wet. It can keep raining as far as I’m concerned.”

The grass may only get greener on Saturday night, though Hellovaway will have to see off some nice types to claim the night’s feature, with David Aiken’s Quick Draft and Beach Shack among participants.

 “(Hellovaway) will be very competitive in that run,” Martin said. “She has terrific gate speed and I don’t think they will want to hold her out, because she could sit out in the death seat and poor pressure on.

“David Aiken got’s two nice types in the race, but I think she will definitely make it a true race.”

Michael Howard

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