If first impressions counted for anything then Glen Cortes wasn’t suitably impressed.
The Geraldton trainer wasn’t sure what he had got into when Dream To Me arrived at his stables.
“From Perth I was told she might be alright for Carnarvon,” Cortes told The Races WA.
“She only had one 400m jump out and went a bit shin sore.
“When I got her she looked like a tiny little yearling type.
“I thought what the bloody hell is that thing, that can’t be my horse.”
Dream To Me might not have been great to look at or aesthetically appealing but her work on the track quickly allayed Cortes’ concerns.
“I worked her with one of Willie Parker’s horses,” Cortes said.
“I said can I follow you to see if my horse could keep its mind on the job.
“I gave her a little squeeze and she went past him like he was standing still.
“I came back and thought I might have something here.”
Cortes is more than happy that his initial unflattering assessment of Dream To Me was off the mark.
The daughter of Shamus Award is small in stature and doesn’t have that equine athletic look, but her racing resume is looking very attractive.
Since her debut at Geraldton almost a year ago, she has raced eight times for five wins and two seconds with prizemoney nearing $100,000.
A bulk of the earnings came on Saturday in her best win against her toughest opposition in the Thoroughbred Breeders WA Platinum Fillies And Mares Classic (1200m) at Pinjarra.
Chasing the tearaway leader, Dream To Me sprinted hard to get up in the last stride after Sockoff appeared to have the race within her grasp.
“She came in after the race and wouldn’t have blown out a candle,” Cortes said.
“I thought she would blow up, but she didn’t.
“It was a big job for her to come from Geraldton.
“It was the race I had planned and mapped out.”
Cortes, who has been involved in racing as a jockey and trainer for over three decades, says having Dream To Me in his stable is a great thrill.
“I’ve had nice horses, but not like her,” Cortes said.
“She is showing encouraging signs and I think next year she’ll be even better.
“I’m just rapt to have her and also for the owners who are terrific people.
“I lease her and they are easy to deal with.
“She was also my first Saturday winner.
“I’ve had a couple of mid-week wins, but she was my first Saturday starter.”