Fish & Chips On Order After Gundagai Races (Monday)

There is no stopping trainer George Dimitropoulos and the same can be said for his horses and apprentice jockey Molly Bourke as they head into the Gundagai meeting on Monday with three winning chances.

George Dimitropoulos trains several horses out of his Wagga base, but resides at Tumbarumba more than a 220 kilometre round trip every day just to attend to his horses.

The days are his own after trackwork, but even then he helps run a fish and chip shop in Tumbarumba.

"They are long days, but I love it and whilever I enjoy it I will keep going," the 64-year-old said.

The road to Tumbarumba can be a treacherous one and Dimitropoulos knows that better than anyone.

"Don't ask how many kilometres I do a week - I do a fair few and a few kangaroos as well," he said in reference to the large number of kangaroos that venture on to the roads.

All jokes aside, Dimitropoulos loves what he is doing and more importantly is enjoying the success that has come his way with the majority of horses he owns himself.

It can be an expensive hobby racing horses by yourself, but Mouse Almighty ($6 on TAB) and My Solaki ($5.50) have paid their way for him.

"I own both of them and I train Willy White Socks for some owners and he has been a marvel throughout his career," he said.

"He is getting on in years, but he is as honest as they come."

Willy White Socks ($23) commenced his career six years ago this month and 113 starts later is still going after 12 wins and 19 placings for earnings of more than $250,000.

Molly Bourke will claim three kilograms off the gelding who celebrated his ninth birthday on Sunday and is a chance of making it win number 13 in the Iron Jack Benchmark 58 (1800m). He is the first emergency, but there is likely to be a scratching with the track reported to be in an extremely heavy state.

The future of the eight-race program depends on any further rain leading up to Monday for the first meeting of the new season.

Traditionally, the day is a meeting where Tumut trainer Kerry Weir has dominated in the past decade and he will have a few starters on Monday.

Dimitropoulos can't fault the recent form of his trio and that of Bourke who rode four winners in July: "Molly is going really well at the moment," he said.

The same can be said for Mouse Almighty whom his trainer believes is the best of his chances in the XXXX Gold Benchmark 58 (1180m). One of the smallest thoroughbreds racing in the region, Mouse Almighty lacks nothing in heart and determination.

"He had a few bad runs, but we found there was a stone bruise and he is right again now," he said. "I think he is still to reach his full potential.

"This will be his first start over 1180 metres, but he finished off well last time to run second over 1000 metres at Narrandera. He can handle a wet track and has been very consistent of late."

Like Willy White Socks, Mouse Almighty has won in his past four starts and the same can be said of My Solaki. The four-year-old was successful two starts back at Wagga then ran second last behind Power Me Up in the Narrandera Cup over 1600 metres.

The drop back in grade to the 1180 metres of the Benchmark 58 is also more suitable, according to his trainer.

"I wanted to experiment with him over 1600 metres, but nothing went right and he had a hard run up front," he said. "He is back in grade and distance and will run a better race."


Racing and Sports