Having a runner engaged on Nationals night was thrilling enough for trainer David Willcocks (pictured with partner Jess Hampshire), but to claim his first city win at one of the sport’s biggest events? An amazing thrill.
He trains just two greyhounds out of a residential property in Cranbourne, with his partner Jess Hampshire and their kids all playing a part around the kennel.
“It’s awesome, words can’t explain it. The family has worked so hard,” expressed Willcocks.
The triumph was courtesy of Ice Cold Yug, a home bred sprinter that has proved a project for Willcocks. He took time to learn what racing was all about and broke through for his maiden win 20 starts into his career.
“Before he won his maiden he didn’t quite have his mind on the job. To see him do what he did and run 29.67 tonight it’s pretty awesome.
“The hard work pays off.”
His joy couldn’t be hidden behind the boxes, Sky Racing’s James Van de Maat said in a post-race interview with Willcocks “you were really riding him home”.
“We came to the track tonight thinking we’ve got a dog racing on National’s night and that was the pinnacle, it was an awesome feeling. To drive home with the winner on National’s night? Absolutely awesome.”
The night was highlighted by the outstanding performances of Tornado Tears (VIC) and West On Augie (WA) in their respective Crocmedia National Championship finals.
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