Elliminyt trainer Courtney Slater is confident her rising stable star Deejay Dilinger can get it done in Friday night’s Decron Horse Care Pace at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
Slater, 34, puts the polish on the son of D M Dilinger, whose last two trips to the races have resulted in all-the-way wins at Terang and Ballarat.
“He’s got heaps of gate speed and he’s a free-running horse,” Slater said.
“From the draw I’m fairly confident they won’t get past him.”
Deejay Dilinger, bred and owned by Greg Laird and Sue McIntosh, joined the Slater team about two years ago.
“They asked us if we wanted to take him on and he was a bit of a ratbag at first, so we had him gelded, and he’s going really well,” Slater said.
“We’ve got a few with Greg and Sue now.”
Slater says she has been involved in harness racing “all my life”.
In the 1990s she raced a horse with her grandfather, Alan Anderson, called Als Court, who defeated Mother Courage at Moonee Valley in 2000 and ran fourth in the 1998 Victoria Derby behind Holmes D G.
“He was a good horse,” Slater says.
The Slaters have a large property at Elliminyt, with Ian and Judy Slater up one end running the breeding operation, and Courtney and Mark at the other end looking after a team of about 15 horses.
There’s a track in the middle where all the work gets done, though Slater admits it’s still pretty wet at this time of year.
Junior driver Jason Lee will steer Deejay Dilinger on Friday, the son of Margaret Lee (trainer of the Keayang horses) a “great little driver”, according to Slater.
“We’re pretty excited,” Slater said when asked about the future plans for Deejay Dilinger.
“Obviously he’s going to be a city horse at some point. The plan at the minute is to just take him through the grades though.”