A change of scenery and a bold move from Queensland to set up base in Tamworth is paying off for trainer-reinsman Jamie Donovan.
Donovan celebrated his first winner on his now home track at last Thursday’s Tamworth meeting, and is hoping to pick up another winners cheque when the club races again on Thursday.
“I have had plenty of success over the January racing Carnival’s here but that was my first “local” success,” Donovan said after Seven Rippin Aces’ win in the Vale Jim Lupton Pace.
The move in the middle of winter was brave for the former Queenslander, who is use to a much milder climate but it did not take him long to “toughen up”.
“Besides a couple of mornings where it has been minus four and minus seven it has been good – nothing a couple of jumpers can’t fix,” he said.
An accountant by trade, he has played his cards well with the move to Tamworth.
“It is paying dividends – my new job is good; the horses are competitive but it was just a bit unfortunate that I moved in winter,” Donovan smirked.
“I am set up out at Grimas, (Michael and Paul) - the country is good out there and the horses are enjoying the country atmosphere rather than the City of Brisbane.”
“I have got four in work at the moment and another three will come down at the end of the month so they will keep me busy.”
Seven Rippin Aces impressed Donovan with his come-from-behind efforts.
“He felt good and he was off the bit near the 1200 but he dug deep this time - it is the first time that he has won from behind, all his other wins he has led,” he said.
The three-year old bay gelding raced four back on the inside running line while smart Tamworth pacer Shadow Boxing set a slick tempo out in front.
“I thought they were running along for this fella to be off the bit when he was pegged away - they really were hiking – they went 57 the first half,” Donovan said.
Donovan elected to take a safe passage into the two wide running line as the bell sounded before taking on race leader Shadow Boxing on the final turn before coming away for an eventual 10.8m win over Goodtime Hero (Anthony Varga).
Shadow Boxing (Dean Chapple) was a further metre away third.
“He (Seven Rippin Aces) pulled away from them and it was a nice mile rate over 1980 metres,” Donovan said.
With quarters contested in 28.5 seconds; 29.5 (secs); 30 (secs) and 32 (secs) the mile rate was clocked at 1.58.9mins.
Seven Rippin Aces has been nominated for Thursday’s meeting and will commence from the seven barrier in the Portable Horse Stables Tamworth Pace.