23 August 2012 - Make Mine Cullen has made a habit of proving people wrong in her distinguished career and trainer Glenn Douglas is hoping his mighty mare can do it one more time tomorrow night.
Make Mine Cullen will have her final start before heading to the breeding barn at Melton tomorrow night in a Free For All against champion pacer Smoken Up. “We all know Smoken Up’s a champion, but we’ve got a favourable draw," Douglas said yesterday. “I’m sure no-one will tip her again and, hopefully, she’ll prove them wrong again.” With 39 career wins and more than $860,000 in prizemoney, Make Mine Cullen has had many career highlights. But there’s one race in particular that stands out for Douglas. “Winning the Breeders Crown 4YO final sticks with me," he said. “Everyone wrote her off in the lead up to the final. They said she couldn’t win. “She came from a bad draw, but still won impressively. I was more than happy to tell everyone about it.” Make Mine Cullen started her career in Sydney where she had seven starts for two wins before being transferred to Douglas’ Strathfieldsaye stables. “When we first got her I thought she was going to make a nice horse, but I never thought she’d go as far as she has," Douglas admitted. “We did a fair bit of work with her and then one night at the trials at Bendigo, (driver) Daryl (Douglas) got off her and said “this horse can really run”.
“She’s never let us down.” Douglas has been in talks with Make Mine Cullen’s owners about racing the mare for another season, but he lost the debate. “We’ve known this has been coming for a while and Friday night’s it, I think,” Douglas said. “We’ve been fortunate to get another year as it is. She (Make Mine Cullen) was supposed to retire last year, but we got a reprieve then. I would like to have had another one, but I totally respect why she’s finishing up. “I’ve got no ill feelings about it; I just hope she’s as successful in the breeding barn as she was on the track.” Win or lose tomorrow night, Make Mine Cullen goes out at the top of her game. This season she’s won 12 of her 28 starts, including a last start win at Melton.She holds the record for the most number of wins at Melton – 28 – which includes two Breeders Crown final wins and a victory in the Group One Queen of the Pacific. Other career highlights include stunning wins in the Group One Kilmore Cup and the Group One Ladyship Mile at Harold Park. - Adam Bourke (Bendigo Advertiser)