Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Cole, Jinshar post firsts

Kyabram trainer-driver Willy Cole had a memorable night on Sunday when he drove his mare Jinshar to victory at Shepparton for both to post their first wins.

GUS UNDERWOOD August 8, 2014 3:05am

Leanne Johnstone and Willy Cole with Jinshar who scored at big odds at Shepparton to give Cole his first win when she broke her own maiden status.

Modern Art mare Jinshar earned a temporary reprieve from being sent home and also achieved a couple of firsts when she saluted at the Kyabram Trots Club meeting at Shepparton on Sunday night.

Not only was Jinshar the first winner for Kyabram trainer and driver Willy Cole, but it was also the pacer’s maiden success as well.

In fact Jinshar had not finished closer than sixth in her previous nine starts.

Jinshar, who was punter friendless and started at odds of nearly 50/1 on the tote, didn’t even have any monetary support from connections.

Cole’s partner, Leanne Johnstone, who helps with the training of the mare, admitted having $2 on Jinshar at her previous start when she ran sixth at Echuca, but wasn’t tempted to come in again at Shepparton despite the tempting odds.

In fact Johnstone said Jinshar had been booked to return to her owners today and it was only through the suggestion of fellow Kyabram trainers Graeme Lyon and Mark Watson that the mare even faced the starter at Shepparton.

‘‘We were going to send her home and she is still only a week-to-week proposition as far as we are concerned,’’ Johnstone said.

‘‘But it was nice for Willy to get his first winner who has had about as many drives as the mare has had starts.’’

Cole drove a copybook race on Jinshar, slotting her behind the pacemaker Jaspers Cullen and then urging the mare along the sprint lane to nab the favourite Belvoirama and Jaspers Cullen in a pulsating finish.

Cole summed up the win as a ‘‘pretty good feeling’’.

‘‘I’ve had about 20 drives since getting my licence two years ago and it’s nice to get that first win,’’ Cole said.

Jinshar was formerly trained by her owner, Ping Lam Chan, at Croydon, but was sent for a change of scenery at Kyabram after struggling in her first few starts.

In another stroke of good luck the owner pulled out on paying up for the mare and Cole and Johnstone took a lease on the pacer before Sunday’s success.

Cole and Johnstone have doubts whether Jinshar can provide them with any more memorable moments, but Sunday night is one they will now never forget.

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