Day At The Track

Lumineer is right on song

03:00 PM 03 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Clare and Theresa McDowall with Lumineer,Harness racing
Clare and Theresa McDowall with Lumineer at Terang
Terang HRC photo

An exciting pacer trained in a small hamlet on Victoria's picturesque coastline is building a huge reputation.

Five-year-old bay horse Lumineer (Sportswriter USA-Birds Can Sing (Rocknroll Hanover USA) posted his 11th win from a career of just 12 starts at the Terang meeting on Tuesday night - and he did it in style, equalling the track record.

"He has heaps of ability, but probably his main asset is his unbelievable will to win. That's something that you can't preach or teach them," trainer Ange McDowall said.

"As a young horse he was always quick at learning and kept improving all the time," she said.

McDowall, who has been training for 15 years, prepares a small team on a dairy farm owned by her parents Brian and Louise at Childers Cove, just off the Great Ocean Road, 25 kms from Warrnambool.

Childers Cove sits at the western end of one of the most iconic natural formations in the world, the stunning 12 Apostles - magnificent rock stacks formed by erosion, rising up from the Southern Ocean.

"I'm usually up by 4.45am because we've got 520 dairy cows on the property," she said.

"There's six of us girls in the family, so there's pretty much a lot of teamwork happening.

"While a younger sister in Clare and I work in the dairy, mum and another sister Theresa make a start with the horse stable duties. The system does work very well.

"My other siblings in Josephine, Julie and Rosie have other jobs, but they always try and make it to the meetings to cheer on the horses."

The Terang win was Lumineer's third success since resuming after a 19-month break.

At his latest win, reinsman Jason Lee drifted back after the start and was able to lob into the one-one box seat.

The early pace was a cracker with leader Myzarmi (Lisa Miles) copping pressure from Pin Stripes (Darby McGuigan). The lead time was the quickest of the night.

Despite later sitting parked on Lumineer, Lee allowed the pacer to stretch out heading into the home turn and they careered away to another super victory in a tick over 1.56.

Lumineer, raced by the McDowall family BLG racing group, was spelled after running sixth in the Victoria Derby Final at Melton in January, 2018.

"There was nothing major. An abscess broke out in a back heel and we virtually had to wait until it had grown back again. He also had a few bad muscle tears," she said.

"It's hard to back off sometimes when you see a red light. But that's best in the long run, I think. He had plenty of time off and now he's repaying us.

"Lumineer and the three or four others that we have in work spend a fair bit of time at the beach. We get there early as we have to be off the beach by 10am."

The McDowall property was used many years ago by Ange's grandfather Wattie McDowall who was an astute trainer back in the days of the Melbourne Showgrounds. Many of the horses raced by the late Wattie carried the "Glenfern" prefix.

"It's nice to think that we now train out of the same farm," McDowall said.

And while Lumineer is well on the way to establishing himself as a star of the future, his trainer understandably still thinks about the one they lost.

"Hellbewright was a Jeremes Jet-sired colt that we had for four starts in early 2015. He won two of these and finished second in another. He was so rock hard, weighed 570kgs and was a beautiful horse," McDowall said.

"Sadly, he had a lot of health issues and while he was on a course of treatment, we lost him."

But for now, the hard-working McDowall team has to map out a program for their latest speedster in Lumineer.

"We'll probably just keep him running around in the country for a while. We'll pick out some suitable races and go from there," she said.


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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