Family formula makes perfect chemistry

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By Mike Hill

DOES it get any better?

That was the likely question hobby trainer Andrew Wooler was asking himself after the family kennel produced nine winners in eight days at Townsville last month.

\”That was our best result ever,\” said Wooler.

The Stuart-based trainer and his wife Jo, also a trainer, shared a winning treble on the Tuesday night, Wooler followed it up with his first-ever trio of winners at the Friday meeting and then the couple shared another treble the following Tuesday.

\”It was a great day,\” Wooler said of his three winners. \”One of the good days.

\”It made up for some of the bad days and there\’s been a lot of them.\”

He said his treble had come as a complete surprise.

\”One was an odds-on favourite (Orara Reggie $1.70), one was a 40-1 chance (Heza Rapscallion) and Salaam ($11) just got there on the line,\” said Wooler, a manager with Coles.

\”We don\’t produce a lot of favourites.

\”Most of our winners are in double figures.\”

To highlight his point, Wooler produced 33-1 chance Tropical Flash to win a maiden in early May and later in the month rugged up Salaam for a novice victory at 40-1.

As one rival trainer said: \”Andrew is a quiet achiever.\”

However, Wooler responded with: \”I\’m just the name. My job is work, Jo looks after the dogs.\”

Because he is working, he said most of the day-to-day operation was done by Jo and the family.

\”They do the bulk of the work with the dogs,\” he said.

Wooler said the operation was a real family affair involving Jo, son Drew, 22, a first-year Maths and Science teacher at the Northern Beaches High School, Townsville, and daughter Hayley, 18.

\”Jo\’s mother Patricia Groves and her brother Peter also assist with the dogs,\” he said.

\”Jo\’s parents Peter and Patricia used to race dogs many years ago.\”

Wooler, who has had a trainer\’s licence for two decades, said he had worked with leading Townsville trainer Glen Olsen for a number of years.

It\’s only in the past few years that he and Jo have branched out with their own operation.

\”We have about 17 dogs in work with 10-12 racing. Some are recovering from injuries,\” he said.

Jo, who has a public licence, has three dogs in her name – the super consistent sprinter Super Hard, Krypton Girl and newcomer Blackened.

Wooler was unable to give a reason for the kennel\’s recent success, except to say \’some of the dogs are improving and becoming more consistent in their racing\’.

\”And you need a bit of luck,\” he said.

The trainer praised his wife and said their dogs were always well presented at meetings.

\”We even hear that from other trainers,\” he said. ¬†\”That\’s a bonus when they say that.\”

And he\’s been impressed with the recent improvement of promising stayer Segredo.

A giveaway, the Bella Infrared-Dokmai red fawn chaser impressed many with a scintillating 37.78s victory over 643m last month at his first attempt at the distance and he won again over the journey a week later.

\”He\’s improving all the time and it was a big run,\” the trainer said.

Wooler said he was well aware of the ups and downs of racing and knew that at any moment the pendulum could swing.

\”I\’m just a little fella in the game, but it\’s good at the moment,\” he said.

\”And it ¬†would be great if our current success could continue into the second half of the year.\”

Only time will tell.

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