By Frances O'Shea
Port Macquarie trainer Denim Wynen believes her stable star Dual Escape ($9.50 on TAB) is primed for win number 11 when she lines up in the 1100m BM64 at Wyong on Thursday.
Wynen’s confidence comes not only from the mare’s strong recent form but also from her reuniting with jockey Serg Lisnyy on one of her favourite tracks.
The Lisnyy and Dual Escape combination has been together for all the eight-year-old wins, four of which have come on the Wyong track.
Lisnyy recently returned from suspension and will be hoping Dual Escape can return him to the winner’s circle.
“She’s not the easiest horse to ride and Serg seems to have the key to her,” Wynen said.
“It’s only her pre-race manners that get her in a bit of trouble. She’s thrown Serg in the enclosure a couple of times but once she gets out onto the track, she is fine.
“She really races well on the Wyong track and can handle any track conditions, so if the rain keeps coming it won’t worry her. She’s ready to win again.”
Dual Escape resumed from a spell at Port Macquarie on October 8, a race Wynen considered to be more of a barrier trial.
“I didn’t expect much from her that day but her two runs since then have been very good.”
The mare was narrowly beaten at Gosford over 1000m on October 28 and was runner-up again at her subsequent start at Wyong over the same distance on November 6, behind Scott Singleton’s promising filly I’m Not Slew.
“I honestly wasn’t expecting her to race as well as she did in her past two starts because Serg wasn’t on her. She surprised me and went really well for both Jenny Duggan and Ashley Morgan.
“With Serg back on her on Thursday there will be no excuse because he can get the best out of her. I wanted to get her nice and fit for when he came back.
“She is ready to go and looks the best she has this preparation. There should be no excuses.”
At just 26, and a mother to two young children, Wynen credits Dual Escape and Kristen Buchanan with helping to establish her as a trainer. She took out her licence while working for Buchanan at Wyong, who also gave her the opportunity to train Dual Escape.
“I leased her initially and she bolted in at Wyong only three weeks after I’d taken over the training. It was the best feeling.
“I brought her last year and she’s won around $70,000 since. She’s a great little pay cheque and a very easy horse to train.
“I moved to Port Macquarie last year and she has really thrived in this environment. She does better in a smaller stable and my partner Reece Partington rides all her work.
“She has helped get my name out there as a trainer and I’ve got a few new owners with some nice young horses coming through. She’s got a few niggling issues, but we keep on top of them, and I think she’s got a few wins left in her.”
The first of seven races at the club’s Domestic & Family Abuse Awareness Raceday, gets underway at 1.50pm.