Hunter Valley trainer Tracey Bruce has just two greyhounds racing at present, after reducing the number of greyhounds she trains to take care of her family.
Litter brothers Cawbourne Hawk and Cawbourne Havoc were engaged last Saturday night at Wentworth Park, with Bruce hopeful they would exhibit good performances, never expecting to get her first ever double at headquarters.
“I couldn’t believe what happened, since I only have two racing and they both won at Wentworth Park was amazing. When we first got them we didn’t think they would turn out as good as they have, and now with Cawbourne Havoc, we have a shot at winning a Group race.”
Cawbourne Hawk kicked off proceedings in race two, saluting by six lengths in a time of 30.19. Bruce is pleased this talented chaser is finally starting to show his potential on the race track.
“He is a touch faster than Cawbourne Havoc, but just hasn’t got the same confidence as his brother. He always seems to find trouble in races and I was really happy to see his confidence go up when he went around the other dog in his race.”
“You have to be very patient with him but that’s what we’ve done and I’m glad it’s paying off.”
The biggest upset of the night came when Bruce’s other talented chaser, Cawbourne Havoc, stepped out in a star-studded FFA field and blitzed his rivals in a flying 29.73 from box three. Bruce was truly humbled by the sensational victory.
“There was no pressure on him since he was paying $17 and that’s what I like, being an outsider. I wasn’t largely shocked when he ran that time, because I know what he can do. He just needed to begin well and he did.”
“I’m a lot more confident going into the Christmas Gift heats this week because he’s drawn the same box as last week and a repeat performance would be great.”
The two litter mates are beautifully bred by Brett Lee out of American Spot, who sits atop the most Wentworth Park winners for 2013.
Bruce’s double was special for a number of reasons, in particular a fitting reward for her 20-year old son, who she describes as the hardest worker in her household.
“He’s so enthusiastic and absolutely loves the dogs. He does everything around the house to look after them. I was so happy and proud of him last week; he boxed both dogs and was so excited. If we won a race like the Christmas Gift, I’m sure he would do backflips up the track.”
Bruce is no stranger to success at Wentworth Park, having put the polish on well-known chaser Navada Sunrise. A winner of 22 races during her career, she saluted an astounding 14 times at Wentworth Park.
Despite Bruce’s eagerness to win, her philosophy is one that resonates with many greyhound trainers, and demonstrates the love and affectionate trainers can have with their dogs.
“All I care about is that they get around safe and come home in the car, because there’s always next week. That’s the most important thing to me. I always kiss them before they go because you never know what can happen in racing, and yes I get criticised for it, but they’re my pets and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”