Written By Ben Sporle for racing.com
Tom Dabernig will saddle up his first runner from his Warrnambool base at Ballarat on Tuesday, when the former Lindsay Park-trained galloper Bellx lines up in the $22,000 Polytrack BM64 Handicap (2100m).
Dabernig trained his last runners in partnership with Ben Hayes on June 19 and has since been building his team, with 10 horses currently on the books and more to arrive later this week.
“We are into our fourth week now and everyone has been very accommodating,” Dabernig said of settling into Warrnambool.
“We have 11 boxes with Matt Williams and are getting an additional six boxes on-course.
“We have got horses arriving this week and by the end of the week they will be in those on-course stables.”
Dabernig hopes to have his 45-horse on-course stable complex completed by the new year but said construction could be delayed due to COVID-19.
“It’s giving me time to learn Warrnambool while not being under the pressures of a big team, so I’m trying to see the positives,” said Dabernig.
“I’m enjoying the smaller team for now, but I hate letting clients down.
“As the weather warms up, we will start using the beach more, I have just gradually been taking two down at a time.
“I have been learning to look at the weather and see when the tide is going to be out for the better conditions, some days are better than others.
“I have been watching the locals as well and see how they do it.”
Dabernig has engaged John Allen to ride Bellx, who will have the blinkers on for the first time in the Rock Hero mare’s first run for the now solo trainer.
“There is a short-priced favourite (Bainbridge) in the race so you have to respect it and Bellx finished second on the all-weather track two starts back to Young Hostess, who is also in the race,” he said of the mare’s chances.
“There looks two or three dangers but she should be competitive, I’d be disappointed if she wasn’t running a good race.”
Sportsbet has marked Bellx a $10 chance behind race favourite Bainbridge at $2.10.