WILTON trainer John Little will be aiming to secure his first group trophy in more than six decades within the sport when Black Hole Sun contests Tuesday night’s Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup (515m).
The two-year-old pup will jump from box four in the final following his slick 29.64 heat victory last week, with Little expecting plenty of improvement heading into the decider.
“It hasn’t been a really good preparation for this race because the dog was out for a few weeks after he got hurt at Goulburn in November,” Little told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“We brought him back and gave him a couple of hand slips and put him in over 400m at Bulli where he [ran 22.21] and nearly broke the record.
“After that we saw the Gosford Cup was on so wave him a post to post and he went straight into the series over 515m.
“We were really pleased with his run, it was a really good hit out and he definitely needed the run for fitness.”
It will be no easy task for the son of Cosmic Rumble and Chasing Diana in the $40,000-to-the-winner feature, with Tuesday’s field including Melbourne Cup hero Ando’s Mac (box one) and defending Gosford Cup champ Knight Sprite (box six).
Additionally, talented youngsters Lochinvar Dash (box two), Barking Bad (box seven) and Camden Gossip (box eight) will also line up in the final, making it one of the hottest editions of the race in recent memory.
“He will have the job cut out for him this week up against Ando’s Mac off the one box,” Little said.
“He has got a lot of speed around him on Tuesday night and they are probably going to clutter up on the first turn.
“With Gosford being a leader’s track he will have to do his best and try to find a nice spot behind them.
“He either has to get out a little bit better than he has been or try and get in behind them and hunt up along the fence.
“The good thing about him is he is very strong – he finishes his races off good – so if he is close to them down the back I think he will make a race of it.”
Having started his career last June, injuries have limited Black Hole Sun to just 13 starts from which he has recorded six wins and five minor placings.
Little is hopeful his star chaser’s injury woes are now behind him, with plans to tackle further group race glory in the near future.
“He has had a few injuries, he has been on and off the track, but he has just turned two so hopefully we can keep him right now.
“I want to have a go at the [National] Derby with him after this series – he is a very good little pup and we haven’t seen the best of him, but hopefully we will within the next six months.
“He is crying out for a bit more ground – after the National Derby I am hoping to give him a couple of 600s and if he finishes them off well he might even get the longer trip.”
Little, who also trained Black Hole Sun’s older half-brother Pedro Cerrano, said it would be a massive thrill to land the race, having come excruciatingly close to winning a major feature in the past.
“I started in the greyhounds in 1955 with my dad – he had dogs when we lived on a farm on the north coast – and I have had them ever since.
“I have always had dogs, I only had a couple whilst I worked but now that I am retired I have got a few more and my grandson Jordan helps me out.
“[Black Hole Sun] is owned by my grandson’s cousins as a part of a syndicate – they were all up at my place over Christmas time and a couple of them are coming up to watch him on Tuesday night.
“Every winner is a pleasure, but it would be lovely to win this race, especially for the boys who own him.
“It would be a real thrill.”
2016 Group 2 Gosford Cup – market
1 – Ando’s Mac $1.35
2 – Lochinvar Dash $7
3 – Srixon $31
4 – Black Hole Sun $9 with Sportsbet
5 – Aston Ebert $51
6 – Knight Sprite $9
7 – Barking Bad $21
8 – Camden Gossip $10
1st Res – Funky Punk $51
2nd Res – Rocky Fever $61