Veteran trainer relives the Dream

ALYESKA Dream returned veteran trainer-driver Ian “Spud” Verning to some “glory days” in yesterday’s $5000 Easters Landscape Supplies Final (1609m) when she came from well back to snare back-to-back wins at Tamworth Paceway.

The three-year-old filly, bred and raced by Kootingal’s Brian and Robert Betts, won her heat at Tamworth Paceway last Thursday with a barnstorming run and produced a similar effort yesterday.

Verning, who was a dominant figure at the paceway for three or four decades, had been having something of a lean run until last week’s heat win.

Owner-breeder Brian Betts had not had a win since 1991, it was reported.

Verning also won something of the patience game with Rawhide Shannon’s trainer-driver Darren Elder.

Rawhide Shannon had won the first heat last Thursday and was considered Alyeska Dream’s main rival but had drawn the outside of the second row.

“I knew he had to make his run at some stage,”  Verning said of Elder who set his gelding alight three wide at the bell for the final lap.

 Verning followed him through and sat behind down the back straight before letting his filly loose.

Race leader Itaintrocketscience kicked strongly too and fought back after being passed by Alyeska Dream to go down by a head for trainer-driver Sally Torrens.

“I’m wrapt with him, he went super,” Torrens said of her maiden performer.

Verning was just as delighted with his filly.

“She got home good again,” Verning said

“Early in her career she used to lead but she goes better from behind now. 

“She can put in that 28sec quarter.”

He said the filly was entered for a similar race at Tamworth next Thursday which is a heat of a $7000 final run during the Golden Guitar Carnival.

Third home was Lester Shannon, driven by Jeff Enks for his father and Armidale trainer Les Enks.

They had started the day well, with Tommy Shannon scoring a shock win at $45.

Trained by Les Enks at Armidale and driven by his son Jeff, Tommy Shannon made light of a last-start ninth to Stealthy Shannon at Tamworth when he started at 120-1 and was beaten almost 60m.

Yesterday he appreciated the two-horse war up front between favourites Never Know Ozzie and The Frogster for Enks to rally entering the final turn and rush to a good win.

Chris Shepherdson and Rowin For Glory were the unlucky pair. 

They also made their run with Tommy Shannon but elected to stay on the rails where they were never able to sneak inside second-placed The Frogster and had to settle for third, jogging to the line full of running.

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