By Isaac Murphy
Len’s Legacy is one of the older starters in the Vince Curry series at two years of age, but trainer Greg Stella has used his time wisely having the chaser cherry ripe for Saturday’s heats where he will look to extend the influence of his former owner the late Len Antonio.
“I’m more than happy with his ability but his achilleas heal is he’s slow out of the boxes and in a three-week maiden series like the Vince Curry it’s hard to overcome that each week,” Stella said.
“On a positive note his second sectional really sets him apart and he’s had plenty of experience which could be crucial against an untested field.”
“There’s a pretty special story behind the dog, I was set to train him for Len Antonio who on the day before he passed named him Len’s Legacy, which has given me extra inspiration to maximise his potential.”
After identifying the race as the dogs starting point Stella kicked into gear with four dog trials at Albion and multiple 520 jump outs and trials at Ipswich to have him peaking at the right time.
“He’s had plenty of trials and he’s never jumped to the front and always hunts for the rails early,” Stella said.
“He’s gone as quick as 30.50 over the 520 metres at Ipswich which will hold him in good stead, but whether he can do that in an eight-dog field is another question.”
“Drawing the two for the heats was a big win, with fair luck he should get around and run in the top three, as far as winning the series goes, he’s definitely a chance, but I’d be rapt to see him make the final and give himself a shot.”
Stella said he picked up the dog at around nine months old after Antonio cast his eye over the Ipswich puppy sales.
“Lenny (Antonio) bought him from the Ipswich Auction in 2017 and right from his first few trials he’s shown he can run time, again the main concern is his first section, if we can iron that out he’s going to leave a very very good legacy,” Stella said.
“Not many have started yet from the Dyna Double One/Not Like Tommy litter, but I did notice Sandra Hunt has his sister Ruby O’Grady in Heat eight, so it will be interesting to see how they both go.”
“Not Like Tommy was a very handy performer and this is her first litter, Len (Antonio) always had a good eye and I don’t think this will be anything different.”
Stella knew Antonio as a personality at the track before he trained for him something, he said was a pleasure to do.
“Lenny (Antonio) had a great passion for greyhound racing his entire life and when he retired, he had the opportunity to really get into ownership with Tony Brett who he shared a lot of success with and gradually branched out to trainers such as myself,” Stella said.
“He’d always had good dogs led by Thirty Talks and Regal Lauryn, so I knew I was in good hands he was a pleasure to train for a good friend.”
“I know his wife Gloria still follows his dogs closely and I’m really hoping we can put a smile on her face with a good performance on Saturday.”
Based at Park Ridge Stella considers the Ipswich Club as his home track and was rapt to have a race of this calibre on his doorstep.
“We saw the race coming over a month ago when the dog was trialling well over 400 metres and we decided to hang on and wait for the race, it’s great to have a dog in your home track’s marquee race,” he said.
“In the past we used to get a lot of interstate dogs up here, but the nine heats are filled with predominantly Queensland trained dogs, I’d love to see a local winner.”