A LIGHTLY-raced 10-year-old pacer will carry the hopes of Warrnambool hobby trainer Gary Barton at Dalvui Raceway at Terang tonight.
Barton will start Nonno Medoro for a 2180-metre race for the first time since buying the prospect from Wedderburn trainer Peter Berrell this month.
The purchase came in the aftermath of Nonno Medoro running second by a half-head to Ruby Slippers over 2100 metres at Charlton on June 12.
Barton liked what he saw, made an offer and Berrell accepted. He said Nonno Medoro had only raced 14 times, despite his age.
“He’s a nice little horse. He’ll win a few races,” he said. “I probably have improved him a fair bit since I got him, though I’ve only had him a fortnight,” he said.
“I think I’ve improved his fitness. I work him on one of my treadmills and his heart rate has come back a bit when he’s recovering.”
Barton said Nonno Medoro’s strength at the line, having settled last and charging home around the outside, caught his eye.
“He sat outside the leader in the breeze the whole way and then he locked wheels with the leader as they turned for home,” he said.
“That cost him about 20 metres and he was only beaten a short half-head.
“They went 1.58 for the mile. I’ve been kicking around the game a fair while and haven’t seen many horses do that.”
Nonno Medoro will have leading Victorian driver Chris Alford, a winner of 231 races this season, in the sulky. Barton and Alford are close friends.
“Time will tell but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the horse since I’ve had him,” Barton said.
“He hasn’t got time on his side so we’ve got to get going.”
The eight-race meeting at Dalvui Raceway tonight starts at 6.30pm.