Geneva Diva shaping up for big things

February 28, 2018

Nagambie horse trainer Linc Sullivan knows a winner when he sees one.

He knows it even better when he is the one training the winner.

Or, in Sullivan’s case, the winners.

He currently has six horses in work at his Tatura stables, plus more than 20 pre-trainers and horses being broken in.

Earlier this month his maiden three-year-old Geneva Diva took out the $22000 McIvor Estate three-year-old Fillies Maiden Plate over 1112m at Kilmore.

It was only the second start for the lightly-raced horse — its first outing at Yarra Glen saw it sent out at 100/1. But the bookies weren’t making the same mistake again after it finished second there.

At Kilmore the Nagambie-bred and owned horse started at 9/2 and finished ahead of super trainers Darren Weir and Chris Waller’s charges, which ran second and third respectively.

Sullivan is just as good on the football field — he was a member of the Nagambie Lakers’ 2010 Kyabram District Football League premiership side.

Now he is the senior coach and has steered the club to the past two premierships, as well as a third in 2014.

‘‘I broke Geneva Diva in for Rosie Netherall, its breeder and owner, and we made a decision not to race her as a two-year-old,’’ Sullivan said.

‘‘Her sire had a brilliant career in the US, including a second in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, so there is some genuine distance potential in her.

‘‘But her dam Beltija is a sprinter, so I guess we will have to see how she pans out.

‘‘For now, though, we will be sticking to sprint distances until she matures fully. She’s not a big horse but she is very strong.

‘‘We’re not getting carried away though. It was only a maiden win at 64.’’

Sullivan said Geneva Diva was already back in the paddock and would spend a couple more weeks there before Sullivan found her next start.

He said the horse had ‘‘tremendous’’ gate speed, was able to ease it back in the middle stages of a race and then turn on a big finish.

‘‘It didn’t hurt to have Luke Nolen in the saddle either, and it would be good to get him for future rides,’’ Sullivan said. ‘‘There was daylight between her and the minor placings when she hit the line.’’

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