WESTMERE trainer Robert Proctor was happy enough being in Warrnambool for the seaside racing carnival.
That his emerging chaser Maori Winslow won through to the final of the $5000 Flying Star series made the annual trip all the more worthwhile.
Maori Winslow ($3.90), out of box three, convinced punters by clocking 22.44 seconds in heat one of the 390-metre series at Wannon Park yesterday.
He finished almost two lengths clear of Skye Creek, trained at Mortlake by Peter Crawley, and Rushworth trainer Peter Cullie’s Hot Or Not.
The victory came despite the two-year-old colliding with Remo Ruby after the start and with Hot Or Not approaching the first turn.
Proctor said he was confident Maori Winslow could deliver when the final of the series went ahead on January 4.
“He loves the inside boxes so if he draws on the inside he goes,” he said.
“He’s a sensible dog, he doesn’t do anything stupid. He gets himself into a position in space.
“I just wish he could go a bit further but he’s not showing this at the moment.
“He’s only two, he’s only young. I’m hoping he’ll get to 450 and beyond. He’s run a second and a third at The Meadows.”
Maori Winslow is the only dog Proctor has running at the seaside carnival.
But he said he was rapt to be a part of the carnival, which has six meetings in nine days from December 26 to January 4.
“I love it, I absolutely love it. I look forward to it every year,” he said.
Maori Winslow’s time was the slowest of the early heats yesterday, although the early interference meant it carried weight.
Heat two victor White Viking was impressive, dashing home in 22.26.