Dolphi’s Boy has a distinct advantage over most of his rivals going into the Vinery Stud Handicap over 2200m at Warwick Farm tomorrow.
The five year old gelding belongs to the Stephen Hill stable, a stable with only three horses in work at the moment.
It means he has virtually 24/7 attention and the full focus of Hill to help him through his career.
There’s always a danger in situations like this that perhaps the horse can be pushed too hard.
The trainer can be at risk of becoming impatient and simply wanting to get to the track.
That’s not an issue for Dolphi’s Boy though, one look at his record and you can see that patience is a virtue for Hill.
Dolphi’s Boy never raced as a two year old and didn’t step on the track as a three year old either.
In fact he made his debut only 13 months ago, winning over 1200m at Canberra as a $21 chance.
“We actually reared the horse here at home, he was broken in there, so we have had him all the way through,” Hill said.
“But he has always been an immature type of horse. He was very slow to pick things up. So I knew early on that he couldn’t be rushed.
“We needed to keep sending him back to the spelling paddock to give him time and that has worked well.”
The wait has been worth it though. Dolphi’s Boy has started 16 times in his career for five wins, three second and three thirds.
In fact in his last 11 runs he’s only missed a place once when fourth on a slow track at Cootamundra in October.
“It was the one bad run he has put in and I can’t explain it,” Hill said.
“He should have just won that day at Cootamundra but he went awful.
“Other than that, he has run well every time.”
He has all the makings of good stayer and tomorrow he’ll get his first chance at 2200m after winning over 2100m in Wyong last start.
“He has always been able to gallop and gallop well,” Hill said.
“It has just taken him a while to get it together. His first race preparation wasn’t bad, he wasn’t too far from them every start, but this time in he has gone to another level.”
The heavy track may be an issue tomorrow, apart from his flop at Cootamundra the only other wet start was on slow at Warwick Farm where he ran second a length to Avarelli over a mile.
“He’s going really well but I’m not sure what he is like in the wet. I guess we are about to find out,” Hill said.
Dolphi’s Boy has actually won his past two, not a bad effort given he started this spell back in August.
“He’s been up forever but continues to work well and his form continues to improve. Each time he goes to the races lately, I thought he would then have to go for a spell but he’s just keeps getting better,” Hill said.
“I would say this time he will go around at Warwick Farm and then to the paddock.”
It’s not a bad paddock to be in either given it’s shared by the oldest living Melbourne Cup champion ever, 35 year old Just A Dash, winner of the 1981 Melbourne Cup.