Werina Express Evans' Best Pup Yet

THAGOONA trainer Noel Evans has had his share of gun pups over the years but with Werina Express he thinks he might just have his best yet.

Isaac Murphy

5 April 2020

THAGOONA trainer Noel Evans has had his share of gun pups over the years but in Werina Express thinks he may have his best yet.

After braining his opposition by eight lengths on debut in his Dave Brett Memorial heat, the classy youngster will run a hot favourite in this Thursday night’s final.

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“It’s hard to declare him the best pup I’ve had after one start, but it’s very rare to get one with both the physical and mental attributes he possesses,” Evans said.

“I’ve had others that have made Vince Curry Finals on pure ability, but I’d say he would have to be the most promising pup I’ve had; so clean was his break in, trials and everything I’ve asked him to do.”

Although last Wednesday was the dog’s race debut, Evans had seen enough to indicate he’d be hard to beat and he’s hoping he can replicate the performance in the final with the hope of an inside draw.

“He’s always been a real race dog from day one,” Evans said.

“We were able to get him a few field trials where we saw that, but it was another thing to do it from box eight in a full field on debut – it really confirmed my opinion of him.

“To win by the margin he did was nice but we’re probably not going to get the trouble we did behind in the final, so I’d love to see him come up with an inside box and take a bit of luck out of the equation.”

Winning on debut in 30.18 in a feature maiden from box eight could certainly be considered special, but Evans had seen the ability behind the scenes for some time in the lead up and predicts the dog can go on with it Thursday.

“If we can manage to lead again, his second sectional is where he can do some serious damage, putting five or six on them down the back and without being brilliant home, he should have enough left,” Evans said. 

“He missed the kick from the pink last week, we were actually lucky he had a little bit of room out wide to regather and accelerate, I’d love to see him nail the box rise this week.

“From his first trial I knew he was something special, we were actually holding him back for this race.

“He was busting to get to the track, we’ve had to fill his time with a few 395 metre trials.

“Some of the stuff he was doing early days I hadn’t seen before with my pups, trialling open-class time at sixteen months.

“Most of his trialling came at Albion from the 395 and 331 metre starts being the track he was going to race at, and every day he was running the time of the day bar one when Calum Anderson’s bitch Marseille went quicker than him.”

At 18 months, Werina Express has a long racing career at his feet and Evans is making sure he doesn’t push too hard too early.

“With him being so wound up, win or lose Thursday night I’ll probably give him a couple of weeks off to freshen up before we go again,” Evans said.

A keen breeder, Evans showed great foresight investing in a couple of brood bitches almost a decade ago.

They have now paid huge dividends, with a number of good litters and possibly the best yet with the Fernando Bale/Slip Sliding combination. 

“We bought Slip Sliding and Bat Out of Hell about eight years ago when I was looking to replenish my brood bitch stocks…and it’s turned out perfectly, they’ve both produced good litters and have more to come,” Evans said.

“Werina Express is a product of Slip Sliding’s third litter and first with Fernando Bale, and given how good the pups look so far we’ve just put in another application for a second Fernando Bale litter.

“She’s produced some very good greyhounds from a previous litter with Queen Werina and Embye who was a stayer down in Sydney, but I think in time this will be by far her best.”

The rest of the litter are slowly making their way to the racetrack, with results so far indicating Werina Express won’t be the only successful pup.

“We sold one pup Riverboat Queen to Warren Nicholls who won her maiden on Sunday, and I’ve got Werina Ace in tomorrow who with a bit of luck will win,” Evans said.

“I’ve got another four at home who are at various stages of development.”