LEN Haaring will head into today’s New Year’s Gift final at Dubbo’s Dawson Park as the red hot favourite after dominating the heats but the Cook’s Gap trainer isn’t getting ahead of himself.
After winning four of five heats on Sunday, Haaring and his dogs are the ones to beat and he admits if they continue in the form they have displayed in recent weeks, he should go home with the win.
However, he also knows there is no room for complacency and he isn’t counting it as a win yet.
“I’m fairly confident. We had the fastest heat winner which is a good start and all the dogs have been in great form. If Most Arrogant jumps like she should she will win but Lenny Enlim has also drawn very well,” Haaring said.
“I don’t want to come across as being cocky. Anything can happen in a race, if you get ahead of yourself, you often end up disappointed.”
Joining Most Arrogant and Lenny Enlim, who is looking for four wins in a row, in the final for Haaring are littermate Kayla’s Tiger and veteran Benora Cream. While the form guide would suggest a Haaring trifecta is possible, he is more worried that having so many dogs in the race could affect his chances.
“I guess a trifecta could happen but everything would have to fall into place,” he said.
“Because Lenny Enlim has drawn so well, he could be there at the end and challenging Most Arrogant. I just hope they don’t bring each other down.”
Haaring’s 100 per cent success rate on Sunday is an indication of just how good his form has been recently. He has 22 wins at Dawson Park in the last two months and looks almost certain to add to that this afternoon.
However his appearances in Dubbo will taper in the next couple of weeks as he looks to test his dogs at Maitland.
“Not to disrespect Dubbo but they need hard competition now and Maitland offers that. We took the dogs up there a couple of months ago just to see how they would go but they were just babies. Now they have got a feel for competitive racing and they should be ready,” he said.
“The ones that can run 500 metres will go to Wentworth Park, probably via The Gardens.”
However, those who have enjoyed watching Haaring’s dogs in action will get another chance.
“We will be back to Dubbo in about a month with probably the best one of the litter [Pure Arrogance] when he recovers from an injury,” the trainer said.
“It’s a shame he got injured otherwise he would have been in the heats and we could have had another one in the final.”
Maybelline Lady is the best Dubbo chance after winning Sunday’s other heat for Graeme Smith.
Today’s 10-race meeting gets underway at 2.37pm with the New Year’s Gift taking place at 5.03pm.