Husband-and-wife training combination Gary and Sandra Fredrickson had a day to remember at Manawatu last Friday, when they picked up three wins on the card, including the $15,000 WF Massey Memorial Distance Final over 720m with Fine Intention.
Owned by Kiwi expat Vaughan Clark, Fine Intention quickly found the front, and never gave anything else a chance in the 720m marathon, winning by six-and-a-half lengths.
"She's so laidback, but she's got this determined streak in her, so we were pretty confident with her," said Gary Fredrickson.
"We'd actually never won a race on a feature night before, so to win three races on a feature night was a monumental leap forward for us."
The Fredricksons have been training greyhounds for six years, and they were first approached by prominent greyhound owner Clark around three years ago.
"We never sought to have owners, as such, and we purposely didn't put our names in the racing calendar or anything, as we were new to the game," Fredrickson said.
"But Vaughan was seeing how we were getting improvement out of some of Lisa Cole's dogs, and he gave me a call and sent me a couple of dogs, which we then duly improved. And then that opened the door to him sending us more. Vaughan and I have just hit it off."
Following another successful day at Manawatu on Monday, where they won races with Highview Bruce and Highview Tigger, the Fredricksons will return to the well on Friday.
In Race 1, Blinken Lily steps up to 660m for the first time, off the back of her last start 457m victory in 26.03. She has come up with Box 8 in the opener, while her kennelmate, Eddie Everest, has drawn the inside. Eddie Everest made his 660m debut last week, and he performed admirably for third, behind talented types Know Keeper and Dalisha Bale.
"I didn't yell for any dogs on the day, except for Eddie. I was yelling for him, I was like, what the hell, this is old Eddie, in behind these two stars," Fredrickson laughs. "That was the highlight of the day really, I just didn't expect it at all.
"He's got a little niggle so he may not start on Friday – I just have to give him his final check in the morning. He has always looked a strong dog all the way through, and there's more to come from this dog.
"Blinken Lily looks very strong in everything she does. She runs through the line so well, so on that basis, you'd be a little bit surprised if she didn't get the 600m. Until she does it, we won't 100 per cent know, but you'd have to be quite optimistic.
"She does seem to have a lot of natural staying attributes."
Completing the trio is Highview Tigger, who is seeking back-to-back wins in Race 6. He's stepping up to Class 4 company, but his win on Monday suggests he's up to the task.
"There's nine dogs in the litter and we've got them all to the races. Highview Tigger wouldn't chase initially, and I was thinking at the time I was so pleased that no one had bought a share in him," Fredrickson said.
"Then one day, he just absolutely hit the go button, and now he's on the verge of open class. He just loves getting out there and feeling the speed of his own legs.
"He's on a roll at the moment and he's got a bit of field sense. He has genuine box speed too, and now we're seeing the total package."
Fredrickson adds that Rock On Annie is a runner to watch out for in Race 1 at Manawatu next Wednesday.
"She's an extremely talented dog with crazy good run homes, but she's had very poor box manners, to the point of not even coming out of the boxes," he said.
"So we've been putting her in the pull on boxes to put her closer to the lure, and it's worked. It's a really big test for her on Wednesday with the set boxes, but up over the 457m, she'll take a power of beating, because boy, she's got a finish and a half."