Special feeling makes it two in a row for Bendigo trainer Debbie Wills

Bendigo trainer Debbie Wills and Special Feeling. Picture: DARREN HOWE
Bendigo trainer Debbie Wills and Special Feeling. Picture: DARREN HOWE


BENDIGO hobby trainer Debbie Wills has extended her amazing recent winning streak after Special Feeling took out the Cadell Food Services Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) on her home-track on Tuesday.

The win made it two in a row for the former David Hayes-trained five-year-old gelding.

It also delivered Wills a remarkable fourth win from her last five starters.

Much like his previous win at Bendigo on Marong Cup day (February 17), Special Feeling unleashed a blistering turn of speed in the straight to finish all over the top of his eight rivals.

For Wills, her rejuvenated galloper could not be more aptly named.

“He’s a special horse …. I just love him,” she said.

“He missed the kick again …. he’s not the fastest horse out of the gates, but let him get balanced and he can hit the line.

“He’ll get better than that, he is going to get out to a mile and has got more wins in him.

 “He does take a lot of looking after because I brought him back from a blood, but I look like after him well. He’s like a mate.”

The win was Wills’ third with Special Feeling in less than 12 months, with the first coming at Kerang in April last year.

He was previously unplaced in four starts for Hayes before being reclaimed by his current trainer in late 2015.

Wills, whose training-base is at Bagshot, said there were no plans to rush the in-form gelding back to the racetrack, instead she would wait for a suitable race.

“It’s the same with my mare (Ahsha), I’m just looking for the right race. She’s going for a hat-trick (of wins),” she said.

“Because I’m a hobby trainer I’m in no hurry … I wait until the horses tell me they’re ready.

“I don’t have to please anyone.

“To me that was a better win today because that’s the way I like to see him win.

“Last time he wasn’t 100 per cent …. He likes to fly home, but he didn’t have to that as much last time, he only did what he had too.”

It was a case of good fortune for jockey Damien Thornton, who picked up the late ride on Special Feeling after James Winks cancelled on Tuesday morning.

The young jockey told broadcaster racing.com he wasn’t complaining.

“It’s always good to pick up a ride on one that seems to win more often than not, but I was glad to do it,” he said.

“I’m not sure what’s up with Winksy but I hope he’s okay.

“We bombed the start and he couldn’t keep up initially and eventually he tacked onto the field.

“The further the race went on the more momentum he picked up. When we got the gap he gave me a nice turn of foot.”

With two wins and three minor placings alongside his name in his last six starts, Wills was surprised to see Special Feeling start at 12-1.

“I thought you beauty,” she said.