Wallace has a jet in Leer
By Jonny Turner
Belle’s Boy took his turn in the limelight while he could when bolting in by six lengths at Wingatui yesterday for Eastern Southland trainer Bruce Wallace.
The pacer finally lived up to the faith his trainer has had in him when powering up the rising Wingatui straight to win race 1.
The win rounded out a perfect three days for Wallace after Leer scored an effortless debut win at Winton on Saturday.
Under normal circumstances, Belle’s Boy might take top billing in the popularity stakes at Wallace’s Chatton (near Gore) stables following his emphatic display.
However, he is set to live in the shadow of his stablemate given the booming reputation Leer has gained following her impressive trials displays and comfortable debut victory.
Just how good the American Ideal filly is is a mystery to most harness racing fans considering her steady 1-57.9 (1609m) winning time and because driver Brent Barclay handed her such a soft trip in the trail.
Wallace admitted he is no different and does not know yet how good Leer could be.
But he is certain he has a very serious filly on his hands.
“You train a lot of horses over the years and they are OK, but there has never been one that has jumped out of the bridle like this one.”
Big money offers and interest in buying the filly has flowed since her victory.
At this stage Wallace and wife Maree have no plans to sell.
“I am at a stage of life where money isn’t everything anymore,” Wallace said.
“When I was sharemilking and trying to buy a farm money ruled my life.”
“Now I have got to this stage it would be nice to take a chance.”
“I said to one guy who rang up that if you want to buy her you would be buying a forty-year-dream.”
Rather than simply jumping in the sulky for the first time at the races on Saturday, Barclay continued a four-year journey with Leer.
The reinsman had trained her dam Bay Jet and prepared Leer’s half-brother Wildwest before he was sold to West Australia after winning his debut by a massive 12 and a half lengths.
When Wallace asked Barclay about Bay Jet they agreed American Ideal was a good match for her and the driver said he would be there to drive the resulting foal when it got to the races.
“Brent had her mother and he said she had a lot of speed but she had a lot of tying up issues and I think eventually soundness got the better of her,” Wallace said.
“I was offered the choice of a few mares by Brent McIntyre at Macca Lodge and I chose her.”
Wallace credited equine dentist Jason Enright for being another key person in Leer’s journey to the races.
The filly had bad hanging tendencies while Wallace was working her up, which Enright helped correct with some serious dental work.
The now streamlined Leer will head to Wyndham next week as she works towards some serious goals her trainer has for her, which include the Southland Oaks.