Make no mistake… Star Ballerina is “adorable and a cutey”. But when it comes to racing, it’s fair to say she’s no ‘principal dancer’.
However, she’s now ‘pirouetting’ in the right direction. And her young trainer, Loren Dalziel, 33, says it’s all thanks to coursing.
“I put her improved form down to coursing… She was a bit timid and would pull back if another runner ranged alongside her in circle races,” Dalziel said.
“But taking her coursing, where there’s only a ‘two-dog’ field, has made the world of difference… It’s given her confidence and has switched her on 100 per cent.”
Dalziel quit her job in Queensland just over four years ago and moved back to Gippsland.
She then started working as a kennel-hand at the Longwarry property of her sister and brother-in-law, Julie and Damien Belsham.
“When I moved back to Victoria, my sister had a coursing greyhound named Miss Mercy and I immediately fell in love with her,” Dalziel said.
“Since then, I’ve had a soft spot for coursing… It’s good for the greyhounds and such a great atmosphere. Everyone is so lovely and friendly.”
Owned by Mark Johnson of Heathcote, Star Ballerina was transferred to Dalziel soon after she won at Geelong in late March.
“Mark and I became close friends while he lived in Drouin, and I’m so appreciative he gave me an opportunity to train her,” Dalziel said. “I’ve been persisting and persisting with her since she joined my kennel.”
Star Ballerina (Feb ’18 Bella Infrared x Benta Bale) provided Dalziel with her first winner when she ‘jeted’ to victory at Cranbourne last Wednesday. It was her second win (with one second and two thirds) from 26 starts and took her stakes to $2945.
“I’ve only had my trainer’s licence for around six months so when she won, I was so excited… It was amazing, the best feeling ever.”
Star Ballerina returns to coursing at Lang Lang on Sunday. She’ll contest Event 4 – Kingston Trophies – Maiden Bitch.
She’s had five coursing starts, including runner-up in a Maiden Bitch at Lang Lang on July 26.
And Dalziel says she’ll continue mixing coursing and circle racing with her ‘Prima’ Ballerina.