DARWIN Cup winner Off And On is marking time before she embarks on a distance campaign for trainer Tom Tzouvelis.
The daughter of Tomac Bale and Jackie’s Trouble is being restricted to a sprinting campaign while going through a season at the moment. Her victory in a 520m 5th Grade at Albion Park last Thursday night was in 30.12 when she scored by six lengths.
She downed Dahomey Windsong with a length to Scipio Africanus in third for her 13th victory in just 28 starts.
“She is six weeks into a season,” said Tzouvelis. “Which is why I don’t want to step her back up to 600 or 700 metres.”
Unfortunately for the kennel, Off And On’s season has forced a change in her program.
“I was seriously thinking about the Hume Cup but then she came on season,” said Tzouvelis.
“I was also hoping for a race like the Sale Cup at Christmas time which would have been ideal for her.
“But that might be right at the time she could make milk and there is no way we will race her then.”
Off And On was bought by a Tzouvelis client back in May.
“She took a long time to settle in and I could not keep the weight on her she fretted so badly,” he said.
“In fact, I was feeding her twice a day just to keep her on her right weight.”
A freshen up and a trip to Darwin turned the bitch around.
“By the time we got to Darwin with her, she trialled the track record over 383 metres and I knew she would be hard to beat in the Cup series,” said Tzouvelis.
“We purposely went early to Darwin to get her settled in. It worked and we got an amazing 25/1 for the final. I thought she was a certainty.”
Tzouvelis said Off And On had come around now. “We can do anything with her,” he said.
Poet Society Repaying Nicholl’s Faith
FOUR times Warren Nicholls has “sacked” Poet Society only to be still left with the dog.
Last Thursday night at Albion Park, Poet Society kept his place in Nicholls’ kennel for a while longer when he won a 520m 5th Grade in 30.43 coming from well back with a storming finish to win by a head.
The son of Fabregas and Short Stories downed Way To Riches and Smokin’ Alice for his second win in 13 starts.
“He’s a monster,” is a polite way for Nicholls’ to describe Poet Society.
“We have given him the kennel name of Wolfie. That’s not the original name he had, but one we have given him since he was a pup.”
Nicholls says it is only time and patience that has improved the dog.
“As a pup he was very timid,” he said.
“When he first started trialling by himself and with one other dog he showed huge ability, but put him in a field and he would only trail them around.
“He could beat anything two out.”
After a dismal last at Capalaba in a maiden early in October, Nicholls sacked the dog again.
“He was booked on the plane to go to Darwin to be trained by his owner Greg Pickard,” said Nicholls.
“But it was right at the time when they had that health scare in Darwin and he had to stay here.
“I tossed him into a short maiden at Albion Park, he made the final and won that. I put him straight up to 520 metres and it suits him.
“He has always been a slow beginner which does not help him. He has a future if he can keep improving. Time and patience has helped him.”
Nicholls says the dog is nervy as well and for a long while into his early preparation he struggled to get weight on him.
“But with more racing he is settling better and his weight is holding up now,” he said.