Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Mare gets better with age

Pacer Imnotabindi has shown she is in career-best form with a commanding win at Echuca.

GUS UNDERWOOD March 1, 2013 4:49am

Paul Dunn and Belinda Savio with mare Imnotabindi.

No, the Old Grey Mare ain’t what she used to be — she’s better.

The Old Grey Mare is this instance is grey pacer Imnotabindi, who upstaged a smart field of C3-4 class pacers in the Leigh Kent Memorial Pace at last week’s Echuca meeting.

The rising seven-year-old mare, taken to the ‘‘death seat’’ midrace , vindicated her Undera trainer-driver Paul ‘‘Bluey’’ Dunn’s confidence in her renowned toughness by outstaying Giveusagrin and the fast-finishing Jeff Gledhill-trained Sly Fantasy.

Imnotabindi is racing in career-best form at the moment according to Dunn.

‘‘She’s certainly racing in peak form at the moment and has never gone better than she’s going right now,’’ said Dunn, who is back for his second training stint in northern Victoria.

A farrier by trade, Dunn purchased a property at Undera late last year with his long-time partner Belinda Savio, who trains thoroughbreds. The couple say they love living in the Goulburn Valley.

Dunn does all his fast work with Imnotabindi on the Kyabram track while Belinda gives her gallopers fast work at the Tatura Shepparton Race Club track at Tatura.

And there is — as there often is — an unusual and interesting story behind how Dunn ended up with Imnotabindi.

She is the result of a give-away broodmare, Tibur Fleur, but accepting this offer wasn’t all clear sailing.

‘‘Her owner Des McQueen said that if I could catch her I could have her, so I took up the challenge,’’ Dunn said.

‘‘She was only in a two acre paddock, but two experienced horsemen Des had got to try and catch her previously had had no luck.

‘‘I was a bit luckier and I caught her, but it took half a day.

‘‘Then, when I got her home it took me a week before I could catch her in her stall.

‘‘I had to hook her headstall with a long piece of wire in the finish but once she knew she was caught she was okay.’’

Dunn put Tibur Fleur, an Exotic Earl mare who had won one of six starts before going amiss, to Jet Laag and Imnotabindi was the result.

Tibur Fleur also has left another winner, Alltheriversrun, for Dunn prior to Imnotabindi’s arrival and has had just the three live foals but unluckily her first foal and Alltheriversrun met premature injury-enfored deaths.

Imnotabindi’s Echuca win brought up career win eight with 15 minor placings from 65 tries — and she looks to be in the mood at the moment to add some more positives to this resume.

And Dunn, with a sly grin, has refuted a rumour he is on the look-out for another hard-to-catch give-away broodmare.

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