Veterans find ‘fountain of youth’

Eight ageless sprinters will line up in a high-quality Veteran S/E (390m) at Ballarat on Wednesday night.

The octet includes some of the best of their genre who seem to be getting better with age. It promises to be a timeless classic!

Amazingly, the field boasts a cumulative total of 600 starts for 217 wins.

Rising five-year-old Wilbur Deeds is the oldest (whelped Aug ’15) and most ‘seasoned’ (104 starts) of this enduring group.

Trained at Koroit by retired bricklayer Garry Anders, Wilbur Deeds has built an honest record of 17 wins and 42 placings.

Wilbur Deeds is expected to start at a double figure quote, but Anders is confident of a bold showing from his “old marvel” who still has plenty of life in his legs.

“He defeated Kipling three starts ago, who has since broken Horsham’s 410-metre track record prior to winning against Warrnambool Cup winner Zambora Smokey,” Anders said.

“He’s a ‘bulldog’ if he can get in front; he just keeps going and going. He has been jumping well but needs 50 metres to find his feet. However, he’s never been a dog to come from behind.”

Anders rates Peter Galo (Box 7), who has won 45 races from 75 starts, as the one to beat.

“He (Peter Galo) is still racing in peak form and will appreciate the wide draw,” Anders said. “Jar Man (Box 1) is suited from the rails draw and I think Big Flash Marjen (Box 8) could be the surprise packet.”

So, what’s the secret to Wilbur Deeds’ racetrack longevity?

“I’ve altered his training program over the past year, and it’s worked wonders,” Anders said. “He’s thriving on free galloping and I freshen him up with regular walks along the beach at Killarney. Basically, I just keep him happy.”

The Veteran S/E is the final race on the program – Race 12 at 10.39pm – and at that ‘ungodly hour’ a few of the ‘old boys’ may need to be awoken from their slumber in the kennels, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Here is the field in box draw order, along with expert form analyst The Watchdog’s price assessment:

  1. Jar Man ($3.40)
  2. Italian Plastic ($4.80)
  3. Startron ($8.00)
  4. Wilbur Deeds ($14.00)
  5. Saintly Jack ($26.00)
  6. Pumpernickel ($41.00)
  7. Peter Galo ($2.60)
  8. Big Flash Marjen ($12.00)


  1. Fast Trapper ($51.00)
  2. Striking Gold ($81.00)

Watchdog Tips: Peter Galo (7); Italian Plastic (2); Jar Man (1); Startron (3)

Suggested Bet: Trifecta 2,7/1,2,3,7/1,2,3,4,7,8 ($10 – 41.67%)

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