Bolton’s winning streak continues

\"\"Caption: Darwin’s Steele Bolton (Photo courtesy NT News)

By MIKE HILL

DARWIN\’S Steele Bolton has had another amazing winning month with his strong team in the Top End.

Bolton, based at Winnellie Park, rugged up seven winners at a Darwin meeting in late March and followed it up with six winners in early April and then a four, a five and a treble later in the month.

\”I think seven could be a record,\” he said.

Steele, who has been involved in the industry for a decade, said: \”I think seven is the best by a trainer at a meeting in that time.\”

Darwin manager Greg Aldam said Bolton was the standout trainer so far this year.

\”He\’s already trained 90 winners,\” he said. \”We have seven trainers based at the track complex and Steele has by far the biggest operation.\”

After winning his first trainer\’s premiership last year, the 26-year-old is well on the way to back-to-back titles.

\”Last year was the first time I had taken training seriously,\” he said.

\”Before that I had six or eight dogs at my mum and dad\’s place\”

Bolton, who admits he\’s self-taught, was 17 and still at school in Year 12 when he gained his trainer\’s licence.

\”It was hard at the start,\” he said. \”Not everyone was willing to tell you everything.

\”I gave it up twice but came back.\”

Steele admitted that in the end he started following Jamie Hosking, prior to that young successful trainer relocating to south-east Queensland.

\”I learnt a lot from Jamie.\”

He also took over Hosking\’s kennels at Winnellie Park when the trainer moved south and he has since developed his operation into the biggest in Darwin.

Bolton has more than 50 dogs \’although they are not all in work\’.

He admits that some nights he can have as many as 30 dogs or more racing.

\”I have two owners who help and I also have three staff members,\” he said.

\”We are all kept busy on race nights.\”

Bolton said he didn\’t have any plans to move away from Darwin although he has received some offers.

\”At the end of the day Darwin has given me everything\” he said. \”I wouldn\’t be where I am today without Darwin racing.

\”Obviously, I want to stay.\”

Meanwhile Townsville\’s Andrew Wooler had to share one race with rival trainer Rhonda Essery, just missing his first ever \’big five\’.

\”Four-and-a-half wins … that\’s my best night,\” said Wooler, whose runner Majestic Diva – a $17 chance – dead-heated for first with Essery\’s Saltarello ($4 equal favourite) in the second- last race on the program.

Wooler shared the night\’s honours with leading trainer Brad Belford, who also rugged up four winners.

\”I\’ve had quite a few trebles and I landed my first winning quartet earlier in the year,\” Wooler said. \”It would have been my first five.\”

The trainer said he didn\’t go racing with any great expectations.

\”I just hope to get one winner and anything else is a bonus,\” he said.

And following their success the trainer said his daughter Hayley was giving the dogs a breakfast treat.

\”She promised them pancakes this morning,\” he said.

Other trainers successful included Ashlee Griffiths with five winners at Murray Bridge and another four at the same track a few weeks later and the Lords – Anthony (three) and Jodie (two) – who rugged up a \’family five\’ at Goulburn.

Trainers to lead in four winners included Ricky Brewer (at Bathurst), Adam Poulter (Darwin), Damien Crudeli (Mandurah), Allan Woods (The Gardens), Gary Johnson (Devonport), Ricky Coleman (Geelong), David Peckham (Mt Gambier) and Michael Hickmott (Townsville).

Hickmott was happy with his quartet but said he was more impressed with Good Odds Nutty\’s comeback win four nights later after being sidelined for six months.

A $7.50 hope, Good Odds Nutty (Fabregas-Good Odds Regina) just grabbed the lead in the shadows of the post.

\”I was thrilled with the victory,\” Hickmott said. \”It was a better feeling than having the four winners the other night.

\”To think that he could win first-up in top grade after being out injured for six months was amazing.

\”He hadn\’t raced since late last September after breaking a sesamoid bone. I was real happy with the effort.\”

Meanwhile a host of trainers landed winning trebles during the month:

NSW: Allan Ivers (at Gunnedah, twice), Raymond Smith (Wentworth Park, twice), Rod McDonald (Dubbo), Allan Woods (The Gardens, twice), Helen Hanson (Taree), Andrew Bell (Richmond).

Victoria: Mark Delbridge (Warragul, Warrnambool), Andrea Dailly (Bendigo, Sandown Park), Brendan Pursell (Sandown Park), Ben Joske (Sale), Anthony Azzopardi (Bendigo), Jeff Britton (Geelong), Terry Erenshaw (Healesville), Andrea Gurry (Warrnambool).

WA: Krystal Skinners (Mandurah), Joe Dailly (Cannington, twice), Brad Cook (Cannington), John Righetti (Cannington), Chris Halse (Mandurah), David Hobby (Cannington, Mandurah), Victoria Cook (Cannington), Lewis Clay (Mandurah).

SA: Kevin Ward (Mt Gambier, twice), Nathan Wilson (Angle Park), Ashley Griffiths (Murray Bridge), Ray Murray (Gawler), Captain Abbott (Mt Gambier), Wade Green (Mt Gambier), Tony Rasmussen (Gawler).

Tasmania: Blake Pursell (Hobart, twice), Debbie Cannan (Hobart).

Queensland: Bill Boon (Rockhampton, twice), Travis Elson (Albion Park), Paul Smith (Townsville), Sandra Hunt (Albion Park), Andrew Wooler (Townsville), Rhonda Essery (Townsville), Peter Hare (Bundaberg), Pauline Byers (Ipswich), Juanita Thompson (Rockhampton), Paul McIlveen (Bundaberg).

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