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Ayres’ small team gives him reason to dream

By Isaac Murphy

Thursday night’s Queensland Distance Prelude and Queensland Sprint Championship heats are full of all of the representatives you’d expect from the state’s biggest kennels.

Then there is Robert Ayres; the Glasshouse Mountains based trainer has three dogs in work, two of which are engaged in the night’s features with Pete’s Dream over the distance and Boscono in the sprint, and the trainer full of enthusiasm ahead of the big night.

“I’ve only got the three dogs in work; Pete’s Dream over the distance, Boscono over the sprint and my third is John’s Last who’s won three of his last six starts, so to have them all sound and going well is something I don’t take for granted,” Ayres said.

“We’ve got an acre-and-a-half at Glasshouse and the dogs are loving it there, everyone in the family is chipping in and doing their bit and it’s a real thrill for all of us to have two of our small team in big races like we have Thursday night.”

Ayres’ first chance comes with Pete’s Dream in the distance prelude, with the dog being relatively new to the caper but has shown Ayres signs he wants the trip; however he will have to do it tough against some big names.

“Pete’s Dream’s mother Hot Dream won races over the distance, he was bred to get the 710 and I’ve been wanting to get him there for some time, however a hock injury and split webbing have just set him back but hopefully we get a clear un at it now,” he said.

“I’ve just introduced him to 600 metres, he’s had a few runs there so I would have liked him to have a couple more over the 710 before he steps out in a race of this class but win or lose it’ll be a good experience for him nonetheless.

“There’s a few questions; the first is the quality of the likes of Velocity Bettina, Rasheda and Classy Ethics and we’re just figuring out if he can run a strong 700, but he’ll only get better the more racing he does.”

Albion Park

ASSET BODY CORPORATE BRIBIE ISLAND 600m

Not many dogs make a seamless transition to a new distance and Ayres knows he might have to take a few losses before Pete’s Dream finds his feet.

“I look at it similarly to a horse trainer in that you’ve got to get a few miles in their legs over the distance before you get a true indication if they’re going to make it and that’s what we’re figuring out with this guy,” he said.

“His first run over the trip was pretty encouraging, he did get tired late but could have done a lot worse than fourth so the potential is there.

“You dare to dream that he could be the knockout hope but in terms of his progression if he was able to run a place in that field I’d be rapt, he should put himself on the speed and we’ll see what he’s made of.”

Pete’s Dream may be outclassed but he’s going to go down swinging, always leaving everything out there on the track.

“From his small body of work over the middle-distance and staying trips, the one thing he’s shown is a lot of fight,” Ayres said.

“When he won his first 600, he was headed around the home turn and came again to win and his debut 700 he could have dropped right out but even though he was tired gave it his all, I think he’s got that will to win and that’s a great place to start.”

The dog hasn’t been with Ayres all that long, and the trainer is hoping he can finally get a full preparation over the distance.

“Gavin Kearns - who’s a good mate - owns Pete’s Dream and was racing him down in Victoria, but he was still working full time and thought I might be able to get a bit more out of him up in Queensland,” Ayres said.

“He won a few races down there at Sandown Park - including one over the 595 - so he’d had a taste of it, but never a full campaign over the distance so I’m looking forward to getting the best out of him.”

Pete's Dream
Boscono

Ayres’ Queensland Sprint Championship hope Boscono hits her toughest race yet on Thursday but she couldn’t be in any better form, boasting a superb strike-rate since she joined the Ayres team.

“Boscono has gone to the next level since I’ve had her, she’s had 27 starts for 13 wins and you’re laughing when you’re winning almost half your races,” he said.

“The problem she’ll face in the sprint on Thursday is getting out of the boxes, nearly every time she’s been beaten it’s been because of her average box manners.

“I sent her to do some box work with Jamie Hosking last week and if we’ve rectified the issue then watch out because if she jumps she’s got tremendous speed throughout and a huge finish on her, aside from Oh Mickey with the gun draw she’s right up to the grade.”

Ayres said her winning record had been fantastic but similarly to Pete’s Dream he wanted to see if she could compete at the next level, and the trainer is adamant if she can get a clear run from the five early, she’s a finals lock.

“All of her wins have been fantastic, lately at Bundaberg and it was a big thrill going down and winning at Maitland, but she’s not young and I thought it’s time we put her in a really tough race to see how she measures up,” he said.

“If she jumps and manages to go with Oh Mickey early I’m not saying she can win but she’ll make a race of it; she hasn’t been run down whilst leading this preparation and I think she’s a huge chance of qualifying for the final.”