By Andrew Thomson
Flying former New South Wales chaser Kipling has grabbed attention statewide in Victoria after lowering the Horsham track record and downing recent Warrnambool Cup winner Zambora Smokey.
The Rob Camilleri-trained speedster cut Time To Talk’s 22.894 second effort at Horsham, set in October last year, to a sizzling 22.844 from box four in the grade five final.
That takes the 31kg blue dog\’s career stats to 22 starts for 14 wins and six runner-up efforts – he\’s been unplaced just twice.
The Fernando Bale-Some Kinda Girl dog won nine out of 15 starts in NSW with legendary breeder Alan Pringle before joining Camilleri\’s Lava kennel.
Kipling won second up at Geelong in a stunning 22.30, then saluted at Bendigo in 23.60, downing Warrnambool Cup winner Zambora Smokey before he managed back-to-back wins at Horsham.
On a slow track he managed a slick 23.08 on the renowned speed circuit and then lowered the track record to 22.84 before heading to Sale and winning in a super 24.56.
So far in Victoria Kipling has had 10 starts for six wins and four seconds, including wins at his past four outings.
Kipling is seen as a short-course specialist, but has a solid bitch line dating back to Pringle stayer Miss Cruise (Ginger-Spanish Dance) who clocked up 17 wins from 25 starts, including successes in her first 14 starts.
Miss Cruise threw Many Tricks who won 19 out of 41 starts.
Current co-trainer Deb Coleman said Kipling was only lightly raced and had ongoing niggling injuries which caused his runs to be spaced.
“He had things wrong, things going amiss and after we got him in February it took a while for him to learn how we work and to fit in,” she said.
“We do work our dogs in competitive runs and it took a while but he has toughened up.
\”Then the dogs got the coronavirus and it took a while to get over that. They were pulling up a bit muscle sore, thigh calf, shoulder, heat, they were just a bit sore and he was one of those dogs.”
Coleman said Kipling was now pulling up noticeably better after runs.
“He did run over 500 metres as a young dog at Wentworth Park but we’ve kept him to shorter races. He’s had 10 starts for us and either won or run second at each start.
“First up at Bendigo he struck one of Massina\’s dogs (Bound To Succeed, 21 starts, 14 wins) running 23.43. You just couldn’t believe that time.
“Then he went back and beat Zambora Smokey. That showed he was a real class dog.
\”Then he went to Horsham and broke the record before going to Sale and running within three lengths of Aston Boleo’s track record.
“He’ll go to the Bendigo Cup now and then we might sneak away for a quiet 500 somewhere. The owners want to give him a try and he deserves his chance over 500 metres.”
Coleman said Kipling was maturing and toughening up.
Those factors combined with the strong stayers in his bitch line made the prospect of Kilpling running a solid 500m very exciting.
“He’s only 31kgs and doesn’t look that big. He’s a little trooper but when he hits the ground he just takes off,” she said.
The co-trainer said Kipling was bought from Pringle by new South Australian-based owners Tim Aloisi and Damien Bates.
“They have bought dogs off Alan before and Alan doesn’t race much any more, he seems more interested in breeding,” Coleman said.
“We’ve also got Kipling’s sister Could Be Magic. She could be handy over 500m.”
Coleman said she and Camilleri had been together seven years.
“Rob’s always got Sky Channel on. One night he watched a bitch win at Maitland and said ‘I really like her’. The next time she won he said it again,” she said.
“On the way to Sale races, I got the details for the connections of She’s Gifted. I sent them to Rob and by the time I got to Sale I had bank details.”
She’s Gifted went on to win the Queensland Futurity (29.74) and ran third in a Melbourne Cup (Behind My Redeemer) despite having a chronic back injury.
“I didn’t tell Rob what I was doing. I just gave him the phone number and told him to do what he needed to do and he bought her,” she said.
She\’s Gifted had 59 starts for 26 wins and 19 placings, collecting just under $200,000 in prizemoney.
She had a best time of 29.29 at Sandown, and ran second to gun sprinter Orson Allen one night beaten less than half-a-length in 29.21.
“She’s just had a litter to Barcia Bale and they’re four months old. We had to scratch her from the Australian Cup final during her career.
\”They had the air show at Avalon just up the road from our place and they were dropping pretend bombs. She got upset in the kennels and hurt herself.
“She was an outstanding race bitch in an outstanding year. She beat Orson Allen a couple of times and he beat her. There were a lot of good dogs around that year.”
Coleman said people had offered to buy whatever pups were for sale from the litter of seven.
“There’s still two people who have a 20 per cent share in her and we are negotiating how that works out.
\”When Rob bought the bitch the deal was the former trainer was to get a bitch pup out of the first litter. Now he’s got that to look forward to,” she said.