BENDIGO hairdresser Ian Garland is over the moon after his talented greyhound Billy’s Bake (Barcia Bale x Evie’s Entity Mar ’15) scored an emphatic victory in Saturday night’s Group 3 Chairman’s Cup (720m) at Wentworth Park.
The race was rocked by the scratchings of star bitches Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14) and Outside Pass (Head Bound x Tina’s Show Aug ’13), but the event was still packed with quality as local hope Mr Shire (Magic Sprite x Slick Exit Mar ’14) was sent to the boxes as the punter’s elect.
When the lids flew open, Starza Light (Barcia Bale x Zsa Zsa Dec ’14) and Tahlia’s Way (Spring Gun x Miami Gold Oct ’14) took the early lead, with Victorians Caco Potion (Kilty Lad x Shifty Mifty Dec ’13) and Billy’s Bake slipping into third and fourth spots respectively.
Heading into the back straight the race changed complexion, with Starza Light dropping back through the field, hampering Billy’s Bake, as Tahlia’s Way and Caco Potion sprinted clear.
However, Garland’s greyhound was not done with, railing strongly around the home turn and hooking to the outside of Tahlia’s Way, shooting away to triumph by two lengths in a handy 42.64. Caco Potion filled third spot, with Mr Shire finishing fourth.
It was a big effort from Billy’s Bake which showed enormous improvement off his heat run the week prior where he had finished nine and a half lengths fourth.
“He definitely benefited from the run on the track the week before,” Garland told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“When he went past the post the first time I thought he was home and hosed but then he got into a bit of trouble through the catching pen and I thought he was in strife.
“But he came out of it ok and he chased hard – he is a very strong dog and I thought it was a great effort.”
Billy’s Bake has now won 12 of his 32 starts with 11 placings and has earned more than $83,000 throughout his career for the Brook Supremacy Syndicate.
It was a career highlight for the black dog, which had previously run second in the Victorian Distance Championship, and also for Garland who has five greyhounds in work and has been training for 25 years.
“It was a big thrill – his owner Liam was there and we got to watch the race together because he handled him,” Garland said.
“It’s also a bit of a relief to finally win a group race. I am confident in how I train, but you do start to wonder if you’ll ever win a big race as even when you make the finals they are very hard to win.
“This fella is exciting and I think he’ll just keep improving – he is only two and a half so he has plenty of time on his side and he is really running out a nice 700 now.”
Garland says there are no immediate plans for his classy stayer, but says he will be looking ahead to future feature races once the 35-kilogram powerhouse returns home.
“I have a rough idea what I am going to do with him now, but I haven’t looked too far ahead.
“At this stage I just want to get him home and then we’ll sit down and plan his runs out.”