Last Friday was a moment to savour for East Shepparton trainer Marien Sullivan when her greyhound Serengeti Icon landed her first ever win at the mammoth odds of $92.20.
Lining up in a Restricted (0-6) Wins race at Bendigo in start number 25, Serengeti Icon’s breakthrough performance meant more to Marien than any other victory she had been involved in.
Formerly of NSW, Marien has trained hundreds of winners including many at Sydney’s premier track, Wentworth Park, and she also trained a treble one night at Nowra.
“I’ve been involved in the sport for 12 or 13 years with my husband Bob and we’ve had our share of winners, but Serengeti Icon’s win was extra special,” she said.
“We’d been plotting that win. When the 660m race came up at Bendigo, Bob said ‘that’s her’. The 660m is a hard run and we knew it was going to suit her.”
“To see her win was so satisfying because we have been persevering with her for so long. She was winless after 24 starts but we didn’t care because we know how well she trials and we know her quirks and the fact that she’s field-shy.”
Not being a punter, Marien didn’t cash in on the massive odds, but that didn’t take away from the joyous occasion, which came seven months after Serengeti Icon’s debut.
“When she won all I could do is laugh because we waited so long for this,” she said.
“We bred her ourselves, and when you breed greyhounds you invest so much time and money into them you’d be silly not to give them every chance of reaching their potential. It’s important to show a lot of patience.”
“Every dog has a key… you’ve just got to find it.”
Serengeti Icon will line up in the Restricted Win Final at Bendigo on Friday – Race 4 Box 1 to run at 3.54pm.