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By Isaac Murphy
Trainer Peter Wilson preaches class over quantity in his kennel and Frog’s Hollow suits that description to a tee.
The two-year-old turned heads from his debut when he broke the 25-second mark over the short course at Ipswich, and now five months later he’s coming along nicely, most recently qualifying for Saturday night’s Ipswich Derby Final where he’ll tackle his toughest test yet.
“The only thing holding him back is his maturity, everything he’s done so far has been on talent alone and I’m really hoping he can put two good runs together against a good Derby field,” Wilson said.
“His 500-metre racing is definitely improving the more runs he has, it used to be all over if he didn’t lead and like you saw in his heat he put the pressure on Peter O’Reilly’s dog (Flying Jet) right to the post.
“He’s not two-and-a-half yet and only has about 15 starts, some of them just take a bit longer to put it all together and I’m hoping he’s one of those because he could be a very good dog.”
The dog tackles company with superior credentials and experience, but the seven-time winner is in the form of his career and has come up trumps with an inside draw after the favourites posted wide.
“There’s probably some better dogs in the final than us, Hara’s Clyde and Flying Jet have the runs on the board but we’ve been fortunate drawing the red and he’s going to have to go out and ping the lids and lead them down the back if he wants to hold on,” Wilson said.
“He should be going in with a bit of confidence, he didn’t take a backward step last week and the run prior he won by about eight lengths from box one, it’s not beyond him but there are some strong finishers.”
Ipswich | Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club | 7:41 PM
Wilson is hopeful natural progression will iron out the dog’s deficiencies, however despite promising the world, the trainer is taking it one run at a time.
“On what he’s done so far you hope the next few months he can continue to make some really good progress and get out there with some of the best in open company, but I’ve learnt you’re only as good as your last run, so I’m not going out thinking about winning an Ipswich Cup in a month’s time just yet,” he said.
“I try not to race him and when I do put him in I’m always very deliberate where I place him, I think it’s worked so far at least - his record says so - but he’s still got plenty to prove in races like the Ipswich Derby.
“If he can sort out that last sectional, that’s when we can start picking out some bigger targets, because he’s as good as most to the second mark already.”
Frog’s Hollow is the latest gun pup out of a long and trusted line for Wilson that’s seen him find some Group-class dogs over the years.
“He’s out of a pretty good broodbitch Bay of Pearls whose progeny we’ve had a lot of success with, he’s a member of her last litter who we took to Fernando Bale - I was hoping for a nice type and he fits the bill,” he said.
“Bay Of Pearls is owned by Peter Sullivan but we did deals with him on previous litters out of Magic Sprite, Smooth Fancy and Oaks Road; I got some of my best dogs out of all of those litters including It’s Dyllan who I’d rate as one of my best.
“It worked out to be a good partnership, I trained some of the litters for Peter while I owned and trained some myself like Frog’s Hollow; time has run out on Bay Of Pearls’ broodbitch career now, so we’re hoping one of the daughters can take the mantle soon.”