By Isaac Murphy
Expectations for Noel Evans’ Werina Express went through the roof after winning the Dave Brett Memorial in a canter earlier this year.
Since then, things haven’t quite gone to plan for the dog, who’s only managed one more win in the last six months, however on the eve of his second birthday he finds himself in another time honoured final - the Molly Campbell Silver Dollars - and Evans thinks he can take home another feature.
“He’s endured a bit of a rough trot since winning the Dave Brett, box draws aren’t everything but for a dog having his first 15 starts, I don’t think he’s drawn closer than the three to the fence,” Evans said.
“Naturally when you’re getting those tough draws every start and getting knocked around you lose a bit of confidence; it was nothing about the dog’s ability, things just weren’t going his way.
“Last week was a huge run coming off a couple where he was well back at Albion to get across from the eight, showing some great track sense after being one of the last away and I think that’ll give him a real boost for the final finishing within a length of Farmor Beach.”
Wayne Scott’s Vince Curry champion Farmor Beach is a deserved favourite after recent runs of 29.59 and a fine heat win, and while Evans acknowledges his talent, he also thinks he can be beaten if things go right.
“He’s got two choices if he wants to win tonight, he either has to ping out and lead which he can do on his night or miss it by a length and let things unfold in front of him because I think there might be a bit of trouble at the first turn,” he said.
“Tommy (Tzouvelis)’s dog in the one - Blue Day - is a good dog but every time he gets an inside draw he runs the rest of the field about four off on the first turn, so if that’s the way it goes Farmor Beach may get caught up giving up a chance to get to the top.
“It goes without saying Farmor Beach is the dog to beat; his times are outstanding and he’s very consistent with the way he gets out of the boxes.
“We’re going to need a few things in our favour but if we can find our way to the front even, he will find it tough to run us down.”