Moonee Valley debut for trainer and filly

Hobby trainer Gary Tobias admits to being spoilt at the beginning of his career when his first horse won at Casterton early in the new millennium.

A linesman with PowerCorp, Camperdown-based Tobias thought training racehorses was easy but has since realised how wrong he was, waiting 12 years for his second winner.

At Moonee Valley on Saturday Tobias has his first trip to town when Locktoba Rocks runs in the Embassy Print Solutions Sprint (1000m).

Locktoba Rocks, who cost the trainer $1600, gave Tobias and his family their biggest pay day when successful in a Swan Hill maiden last Saturday, returning prize money of $20,500.

On Saturday, with VOBIS bonus monies attached, Locktoba Rocks races for almost five times that amount.

“She was entered for the VOBIS sale but for some reason they pulled her out and I was able to buy her at the Great Southern Sale, this time, two years ago,” Tobias said.

“She was the first yearling to go through and there was no-one in the auditorium.

“I was lucky enough to buy her.”

Before her Swan Hill win, Tobias took Locktoba Rocks to Werribee where he got a taste of what it’s like to take on Lindsay Park along with trainers like Mick Kent, Chris Meagher, Leon and Troy Corstens and Darren Weir.

“I thought running fifth against those trainers wasn’t a bad effort from a little hobby trainer,” Tobias said.

“She was found out over the last 100 metres and my daughter said we ought to find a shorter race.

“We found the 975 metres at Swan Hill and thought we might be in with a chance and Robbo (jockey Craig Robertson) rode a very good race.

“We might be overstepping the mark on Saturday but I think with a bit of maturity next time in she’ll be a better horse.

“She’s had a bit of time out with shin soreness but it looks like we’ve got through that now and we’ve put the two runs together.

“She’s a nice little horse.”