Dom Celisano is off the mark after sealing his first win as an owner-trainer at Pinjarra last Thursday.
The 47-year-old had Red Dwarf go around in the Glenn Money Maiden (1600m) and the lightly-raced six-year-old didn’t let him down with a 1 ¼ length victory.
At just his fourth career start, Red Dwarf stormed home from fifth on the turn and utilized an impressive turn of foot late for jockey, Joe Azzopardi.
Celisano is no stranger to racing and winning races as an owner, but to opening your account as a fledgling trainer was another thrill all together.
“My father has always owned racehorses and I had shares with him,” Celisano said.
“But this is right up there, to own and train is something pretty special.
“I’m on just a high, it’s right up there.”
For those who know Celisano, when he turned his hand to training, there was hardly a ripple of surprise.
Proudly born and bred in Harvey, there are few jobs or tasks Celisano hasn’t tried or attempted to have a crack at.
“I do a bit of everything,” Celisano said.
“I’ve got a couple of businesses in Harvey, a couple of pizza shops.
“I also help a mate of mine who is a chippy and haymaking.
“I get bored if I’m not doing things and I help everyone out in Harvey.
“I’m pretty happy to do anything I can.”
Several years in the making, Celisano was well equipped for the challenges of racing after thorough grounding with several trainers.
“I started helping Rocco Dagostino for a little bit,” Celisano said.
“Joshua Krispyn, I started strapping for him.
“I thought, bugger it, I’ll get my own owner-trainer license.
“It came out of the blue really, I was always going to the races and thought I’d give it a crack.
“I got the taste for it helping the other trainers out.”
Icing on the cake for Celisano was Red Dwarf’s $11,600 first prize for winning.
Celisano says whatever happens from now on, he’s financially in front with the son of Ouqba.
“I actually got him for free,” Celisano said.
“My wife found him online and I like the Ouqba’s, the breeding.
“We got him to be a hack because they make good hacks.
“Then we decided with a couple of girls who help me out to give him a go.
“He showed a bit of promise and we kept going with it.
“We got him in April and he’s been in work for about three months.”
Celisano said a gear change was the key to Red Dwarf’s maiden win.
“I think it was the blinkers,” Celisano said.
“It switched him on and the jock did a great job.”