Tattersall's Tiara Day
Eagle Farm, Ascot / Sat 26 Jun
Caloundra Cup Day
Caloundra, Sunshine Coast / Sat 3 Jul
Star pacer Colt Thirty One closing in on historic milestone
Rockhampton Cup travel package the way to go
By Isaac Murphy
Paul McIlveen has never taken himself too seriously, with the hobby trainer handy in the art of self-deprecation.
However, when it comes to his Capalaba Young Guns finalist I’m The Bill, McIlveen couldn’t be more serious, with the dog showing him more at 18 months than most do in a career.
The son of Dyna Double One is yet to drop a race up the straight, despite an early oversight from McIlveen who is just beginning to realise how good the dog could be.
“I’m surprised he’s three from three at Capalaba, I’d slipped him up the straight before, but it wasn’t until after I nominated him for his Maiden up there that I realised he’d never been out of the boxes,” McIlveen said.
“He came out about two lengths behind them but saved me from looking silly by running around them all to win.
“He’d been showing me some good stuff at home and on the trial track, but it wasn’t until that run when he beat them on pure ability, I thought I’ve got something here.
“His trouble wherever he’s been is getting out of the boxes, and Capalaba is generally the best place to fix that.
“I wasn’t expecting him to do much in the Young Guns on Sunday, but he jumped the best he ever has from the eight and has a really good turn of pace once he’s in front - it was a nice surprise.”
Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 12:50 PM
Come last Sunday’s heats, and the dog was showing signs of improvement at box rise already, sailing down the outer for an upset win in a smart 19.85 gallop, which he’ll likely need to lower again to compete with other finalists.
“We did get the better of some good ones last week but it’s a bit of a shame for us all the good ones from the other heats go through,” McIlveen laughed.
“He’s come up with the eight again which I’m happy with, he’s nice and comfortable out in that part of the track and won’t be caught up in any bumping duels early.
“He was about two tenths off the quickest heat winners last week and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he found those lengths he needs, he’s come down from 20.15 to 19.85 from the last time he won up the straight - he’s only getting better.”
McIlveen is convinced we won’t see I’m The Bill’s best racing until he’s consistently on the circle but he’s sure doing a good job biding his time.
“Winning the Capalaba Young Guns would be great, but even having the experience up against some of Tony Brett’s good young ones has him headed for the right direction when I get him to the circle full-time,” he said.
“His first career run was from box eight at Albion Park over the 395 metres, he’d only had the two trials and I was tossing up to start him or not and he missed by a half-length to one of the Burman’s young dogs (Mere Magic).
“I’ve tried to give him a few different experiences early in his career, he went to Ipswich as a favourite over the 431 but missed the start and finished fourth, then I took him to Bundy where he was checked but still managed third - it’s all about education and I’m happy the way he’s tracking.”
I’m The Bill isn’t the only one making it easy for McIlveen to get up and put in the work of a morning, after fellow 18-month-old Sunshine Delight bloused them at Bundaberg on debut.
“I was lucky to buy him (I’m The Bill) off a mate who had a few too many as well as Sunshine Delight who won his Maiden by eight lengths at Bundaberg last week,” he said.
“They’re both very nicely bred; I’m The Bill out of Dyna Double One and Sheba’s Delight, Sunshine Delight out of My Redeemer and Lemon Sunrise.
“The most exciting part about both of them is they’re just short of 19-months-old, touch wood we go injury free and I’m able to see how good they are over the next year or so.”
McIlveen has his routine set at home and whatever he’s doing is working, currently amidst the best run of his career.
“I’m The Bill has a bit of pressure on him Sunday I’ve been in a bit of a purple patch the last couple of weeks - five of my last six starts have been winners, I’m used to getting five winners a year,” McIlveen laughed.
“I’ve always worked full time but have found it really remedial to have the dogs on the side, it certainly breaks up the week for you.
“We’ve got five acres down here at Beachmere where the dogs can run around at home or we take them down to the water, I’m enjoying the ride.”