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Oshyer optimistic about Winter Chase chance

By Isaac Murphy

It took 52 starts and a kennel change, but Albion Park 600-metre specialist Mac Roamin’ finally broke through in free-for-all company last week for new trainer Allan Oshyer.

 Oshyer has worked diligently to give the soon-to-be four-year-old a shot at the winter distance races, beginning with this week’s listed Winter Chase heats.

The dog spent most of his career with Bob Adams, where he enjoyed plenty of success but having tried everything with him, Adams offered him up to good mate Oshyer, who was more than happy to take the reins.

“He was a good dog for Bob but he had a lot of liver problems and niggles here and there and there,” Oshyer said.

“His last seven runs with Bob he went unplaced and Bob was through trying with him.

“We’ve been mates a long time and he just asked me at Capalaba one day if I’d like to have a go with him.

“I knew how good his best was, so I said sure, now I’m training and Bob’s son Kris owns him.”

Mac Roamin’s career could be described as enigmatic, but Oshyer took up the challenge to try to figure the dog out for the latter half of his career.

“He’s not the easiest dog to train, he has his vices and needs to have it all his own way,” Oshyer said.

“I just took it steady the first couple of months to get him fit and first up over six hundred he came out and won, and then won again in free-for-all company last week.

“I think the change of kennels has freshened him up, not that he was unhappy at Bob’s but sometimes they just need something different.

“He’s been enjoying life up my little straight at home, I take him to Capalaba to trial and I’ve tried a few little things with his diet to keep him healthy and it’s all going well so far.”

It wasn’t all violets and roses from the start for Oshyer, who had to endure some unsuitable races with Mac Roamin’ to get him right for his pet distance.

“When I first started to race him, I put him in a 395 and everyone thought I was mad, but it was all a part of racing him into fitness with 600 the end goal,” Oshyer said.

“He started to show flashes over the 520 metres and I gave him a trial about six weeks ago where he went 30.60 at Ipswich, and it was right after that he came out and won over the 600 at Albion, so it all came together.”

Albion Park


Four-years-old in October, this is likely Mac Roamin’s last chance to figure in the winter feature races, something Oshyer was not going to miss out on with a record of five wins from eleven starts over the middle-distance.

“In all likelihood he’ll be retired by the time all these races are on next year and I might be aiming a little bit high putting him in the Winter Chase, but on his day he’s well and truly up to it,” Oshyer said.

“Dogs like Infrared Lad who draws outside him in the heat have done a lot more than him, but I’m confident he can run a place from box one, and anything can happen if he makes the final.

“He’ll be outpaced early, but that’s how he wins a lot of his races, the early speed dogs annoy each other and if he can tack on, he can come over the top of them.”

Oshyer is confident his charge will come through this week well and as long as he’s healthy, there’s not a staying race he won’t consider.

“I’ll wait and see how he goes this week and fingers crossed in next week’s final, but I don’t see any reason we shouldn’t have a crack at some of the other black type winter races,” he said.

“We know he really only gets going the second half of his six hundred metre races, so if I think he’s up to it I won’t hesitate to give him a chance over the 710.

“It’s all up to the dog though, some days he’s mad keen to race, but if he has a few bad runs in a row it really dents his bravado.”

Mac Roamin’ has got a young upstart in the kennel that will be racing alongside him in the winter, Oshyer saying the sky’s the limit for his young acquisition.

“I’ve got another young dog Mahogany Row from John Dart who sent him up with all the border issues, who I’m really excited about as a future staying prospect,” he said.

“Just about everything went wrong for him at Ipswich last Saturday night and he still charged to the line, he’s going to make a gun stayer.

“I was going to put him in this week but wanted to win a race with him before I put him in open class, it’s a rare thing for me having two dogs who can be really competitive over the staying trips the next couple of months.”

Mac Roamin'