THIRTY Talks has proven he is a force to be reckoned with throughout the upcoming Queensland Winter Carnival with a dominant victory in the Group 2 Richmond Riches (535m) on Saturday night.
Open to greyhounds purchased through the 2014 Richmond Riches Puppy Auction, the brindle dog went into the final as the even money favourite following successes in both his heat and semi-final of the $100,000 to the winner series.
Trained in Queensland by Tony Brett, the son of Where’s Pedro and Unfinished missed the kick from box two in the decider, but showed good field sense when railing through on the first turn to slip into second spot heading through the pen.
Thirty Talks began taking ground off the tearaway leader Vidi Vici down the back, hitting the front just before the home turn and sprinting clear to score by two and three quarter lengths in 30.68.
Brett said he went into the race thinking his powerhouse greyhound would perform well, however he admits losing confidence when Thirty Talks was relegated to last in the early stages.
“The draw was good and going into the final it was probably his race to lose if he were to do something wrong,” Brett told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“As it turned out he did do something wrong – he gave me a heart attack when he missed the kick.
“Then he got put into the running rail and I honestly thought that was it and I started preparing myself for the long trip home.
“But I guess when things are meant to happen, they happen, and the right run came on the first turn and he made the most of it and then his ability showed.”
It was an emotional win on Saturday night, with the dog’s owner, Lenny Antonio, unable to be at the track after he was involved in a serious car accident just days before.
“He had a really bad car accident on Thursday and he is in hospital at the moment – honestly he is lucky to be alive,” Brett said.
“He fell asleep at the wheel and he went over a bridge and they had to cut the roof off the car to get him out and air lift him to hospital.
“He shattered his arm in a couple of places and he is pretty battered and bruised.
“It was very disappointing as he and his wife were set to drive down for the race on Friday and take a weeks holiday – but unfortunately he never got there
“When you look at the pictures of the accident it could have been a lot worse so we have been blessed all round – he got the money and he is still alive to appreciate it – but I definitely got a bit emotional after the win.”
Brett said the victory would go a long way to ensuring Antonio makes a full recovery, with Thirty Talks a very special greyhound in the eyes of the retired orthodontist who paid a massive $30,000 for the youngster at the auction.
“He just loves this dog, from the moment he set eyes on him at 8am when the auction was on he said that we would be taking him home that day.
“It probably cost him a lot more than what he thought initially but when Lenny sees something and has got a good feeling you are a brave person to tell him he can’t have it.
“He was a good looking pup there is no doubt about that but it was a huge risk to pay $30,000 for a pup at five months old which could turn out to be average.
“Now as it turns out he is laughing all the way to the bank and is having the ride of his life…to see him come back and win the Auction with him will go a long way to helping him recover.”
The victory made it 11 wins from 14 starts for Thirty Talks who is now set to be aimed at the heats of the Listed Flying Amy Classic this Thursday at Albion Park.
“He just had a couple of sausage and egg McMuffins for breakfast, so if his weight is alright and he pulls up ok I will put a nomination in for the Flying Amy which starts this Thursday night,” Brett quipped.
“He is starting to put it all together – he is learning how to race and he is getting a bit of field sense.
“If we can fix his box manners a little bit he could be the real package.
“He showed he can ping the lids in the Vince Curry series but he is yet to do that again – but when he times the start right he can really get out well and he is capable of running fast times no matter what track he is on.
“He has got a very big motor and he is a real race dog – he loves what he is doing.
“All going to plan I will probably give him a let up following the Flying Amy and then head towards the Winter Cup.”