CAMACHO will be aiming to win his first Group race just two days before his second birthday when he lines up in the Group 2 Maitland Cup this Friday over 450-metres.
Trained at Blacksmiths by veteran mentor Ron Bell, Camacho has been a model of consistency throughout his short career to date, winning 11 races with two minor placings from just 18 starts.
His latest victory came last week in a heat of the Maitland Cup where he began beautifully from box five, recording a handy 25.31.
Bell said he was pleased with Camacho’s effort in his heat, although he said he thought the black greyhound would go a bit quicker after posting 25.12 at his debut over the track and distance the week prior.
“It was his first 450 there the previous week and he ran 25.12. We were expecting him to improve on that in the heat so I’m not really sure why he didn’t go a bit quicker,” Bell said.
“The only thing I could put it down to was that it was the first time he had been to Maitland under the lights and that it was a later race — sometimes the track at Maitland at night gets a little bit slower as it gets later.
“But the dog is fine, he has pulled up really well and he is jumping out of his skin.”
Camacho, currently a $10 chance with Sportsbet, will start from box two in the $40,000-to-the-winner final against a classy field including the likes of Spacecraft (box seven) and the Jason Mackay- trained duo, Zipping Saxon (box one) and Black Frenzy (box eight).
Bell said it will be an incredibly hard race to win against such a talented field.
“The Maitland Club has done really well in recent years, there has been a really high standard of dogs going for the Maitland Cup,” he said.
“This year there are no standouts in the race, but there are eight really good dogs there — they are a very even lot.
”Jason is a leading trainer, I have the greatest respect for his dogs and Zipping Saxon will be the hardest to beat, no doubt, and his other runner, Black Frenzy, is well boxed out in the eight.
”If we can out pace him early and into the first turn then you never know, we might be able to get a bit of luck and get up a good lead. Anything can happen in a big race.”
Bell is expecting big things in the future from Camacho, which is developing into a very nice young sprinter punters should certainly keep and eye on.
“He has already won a Gardens to Wenty final but that was very early in his career. We spelled him after that and he has come back a much better dog,” he said.
“For a young dog he has come a long way in a short time. I think eventually he will be able to break the 25 (seconds) at Maitland. Whether it’s tomorrow night or not, I’m not sure, but I hope it is.”
Bell also trains Camacho’s equally talented litter sister Paloma Lago which, along with her brother, was purchased at a bargain price as a pup.
“The Keenaz Syndicate bought them and they have all their dogs with me,” he said.
“They are more than owners, they are close mates of mine, Kenny Pettie and Ray Smith, they do a lot of work for me taking the dogs to the track, and the other boys in the Syndicate are a terrific bunch.
“They saw the pups advertised, so they bought Camacho and his sister for $2500 the pair. They were cheap buys, but they have both turned out to be very good dogs.”
Paloma Lago is also racing at Maitland on Friday night and will jump from box eight in the seventh event after a fast 29.66 win at The Gardens last weekend. Bell said there isn’t much between the talented duo.
“Paloma Lago had never been out of the boxes at The Gardens over the 515-metres,” he said.
“She had one post to post and we put her straight in and she ran 29.66 first look.
“I always thought she was the better of the two, I don’t know whether that will turn out to be true, but if not she isn’t very far behind him I can assure you.”