Most people pays thousands of dollars for a perfect pedigree in their greyhounds that will hopefully enable them to achieve Group One glory on the racetrack. Star Recall is different.
The daughter of High Earner and No Recall was given to her owner, Kevin Dover, by WA’s leading lady, Linda Britton, when she was just a young pup. Linda has trained Star Recall throughout her 38 start career which has resulted in 21 wins and 11 minor placings.
Tomorrow night the black bitch will line up in the world richest greyhound race, the Group One Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park, where she will jump from box six as she chases a slice of the $600,000 on offer.
Dover is hoping his star performer, currently being trained in Melbourne by Linda’s brother Jeff, can do everything right to overcome the average draw.
“She is a strong finisher, she is capable of running 600. She has plenty left in the tank at the finish so being a 515 she doesn’t want to give them too much of a break”, Dover explained.
“Hopefully she can ping the lids and get up with them near the lead going into the first turn. She is not a mad railer, she holds her line to the first turn, so that should help her too.
“Before going to Melbourne the best box that she had drawn was the three. The rest of her boxes have been out wide in the six, seven and eight so she has got used to what she has to do.”
Star Recall showed everyone what she was capable of with a stunning 29.34 victory from box two in her Cup heat last week. It was a relief for Dover to see her back to her brilliant best, having finished at the tail of the field at her Sandown debut the week prior.
“She had her preparation disturbed after the Mandurah Cup final where she hurt her shoulder and then she started so badly in the Prelude that I didn’t know what to expect of her in the heats. But she got out, got to the front and never looked back.”
Dover said that he knew she was capable of a quick performance, having run some slick times back home in WA.
“She just about broke the track record at Cannington (running 29.85) and followed it up the following week by just about breaking the track record at Mandurah (running 27.12) in a heat of the Cup.
“Prior to nearly breaking the record at Cannington she also broke the 30 seconds there the week before. It proved that it wasn’t a one off because she was putting those performances together three or four weeks in a row.”
Star Recall is just the second greyhound that Dover has owned, getting a start in the sport through Linda’s brother Ian.
“The Britton family are very good. I have known them for a long time and I used to play cricket with Ian Britton.
“I mentioned to him one day that I was interested in getting involved in the greyhounds and that’s how it all started.”
Dover cannot speak highly enough of Linda for guiding Star Recall so successfully during her career thus far and is also thankful to Jeff Britton and Angela Langton for training her throughout the Melbourne Cup series.
As for tomorrow night, Dover said that he plans to simply enjoy the experience and not go into it with too many expectations. He is also relieved that they are going into the race as underdogs.
“Keybow and Dyna Villa are all the talk, obviously because they have had plenty of starts at Sandown. That’s good for us because there is no extra pressure.
“I am heading over with my wife and daughters and we are returning on Sunday. Hopefully we come back to WA with the Melbourne Cup but we will just go over there and enjoy it and take it all in.
“Whatever happens, happens. Hopefully she makes it around the track without getting injured, that’s our main priority. If she is not good enough to win it would be nice for her to come second or third but as long as she comes out of it safely and lives to fight another day we will be happy.”
Dover said making the Melbourne Cup final is beyond his wildest dreams.
“When we had our first dog Tempted we were down at Mandurah in a grade 5 race the night that Te Amo won the Mandurah Cup.
“I remember sitting there thinking that it would be nice to have one in the Mandurah Cup, not even worrying about getting a runner to Cannington.
“When Star Recall first started racing it was only a dream to have a dog in a race like this, the best race around, and that dream has now come true.”