Wilkes Proud As Punch With Painted Picture

MARK Wilkes never once gave up on his classy galloper Painted Picture in Wednesday night's Grafton Sprinters Cup Final (407m) on Wednesday night.

David Brasch

10 July 2019

OWNER-TRAINER Mark Wilkes never once gave up on his classy galloper Painted Picture despite the dog being involved in severe interference not long after the start of the Grafton Sprinters Cup Final (407m) on Wednesday night.

And his dog proved him right.

“I very much liked his chances in the final,” said Mark. “I thought he only needed to miss trouble at the start to be right in the finish.”

That is NOT what happened. Painted Picture (Fernando Bale-Amy Lyndan) began brilliantly but was severely checked within a few strides and, the normally front running specialist, was checked back to fourth buried deep in the pack of brilliant short course sprinters.

“I kept saying to myself, ‘get out wide son, get out wide’ and he must have heard me,” said Wilkes.

That’s what Painted Picture did on the home turn and he stormed to the line to catch $1.65 favourite Cop A Chevy on the line to win by a neck in 23.39. Ducati George was another half length away.

It took Painted Picture’s career record to 28 starts for 13 wins and 11 placings for $70,655 in stakes.

For 61-year-old retired local government worker Wilkes he has been a godsend.

“That’s the eighth final he has been in,” he said. “And in every one of his 28 starts he has earned prizemoney.”

Wilkes sent Painted Picture to leading trainer Tony Brett for a campaign but missed the dog so much he got him back home in June.

“The first person to congratulate me after the race was Tony Brett,” said Wilkes.

Brett has asked Wilkes to take Painted Picture north for a tilt at the Townsville Cup but he is wavering.

“I have really fallen for this bloke and might not be able to let him go,” said Wilkes. “The Casino and Lismore Cups are coming up in the next few months and they will suit him as well.

“He’s just a good little dog.”

Painted Picture started $9.50 after his third to Rumble Master in the heat but Wilkes was confident.

“I heard they bet $12 in the ring and I would have loved to have some of that,” he said.

“That was way over the odds.”