22-year-old Ben Rawlings experienced the biggest thrill of his short training career on Sunday night when the consistent Bogie Magic saluted in the Group 3 Bunyip Gawler Gold Cup.
After beginning brilliantly from box four, the dashing black chaser made every post a winner as he stretched out in front of the quality field, striking the line two and a half lengths ahead of Kalden Kurageous in a smart 30.92s. Bogie Magic’s win in the $26,700 to the winner event took his stats to 57 starts for the impressive record of 21 wins and 15 minor placings.
After claiming his heat in 31.11s on Tuesday evening, Rawlings went into the event confident that his charge could improve on that time
“I was stoked, he did everything right”
“I thought he could definitely run around 30.80-30.85. He missed a run the week before- he ended up being a late scratching because he hurt his wrist. He missed a couple of runs so his time in the heat was a bit slower, but we took him to John Katakasi and we got him right and he was able to do the right thing on the day”, Rawlings explained.
Rawlings went into the race with two contenders for the title, with the talented Bogie Prince drawn in box three. The red brindle greyhound went into the event as one of the outsiders after clocking 31.31s in claiming his qualifier. Accordingly, Rawlings had Bogie Magic, a grandson of the great Bogie Leigh, selected as the tip of his pair. While he did not have featured in the finish, Bogie Prince may have assisted his victorious kennelmate when causing some interference on the first turn
“I was more confident in him (Bogie Magic) because he is normally very reliable out of a box whereas (Bogie)Prince sort of waits for the lids to come up before he goes”
“I watched the replay just before and (Bogie) Prince knocked a few out of the race on the first turn which was good”, Rawlings laughed.
It was the second year in a row that Bogie Magic had started in the Gawler feature, finishing fourth in the 2012 edition behind former kennelmate Bogie King when trained by Queensland mentor Ryan Ayre. Rawlings housed the two sprinters last year for Ayre and said that it was a great thrill to be involved with the winning greyhound in 2012.
“Ryan Ayre stayed here last year for the Cup with Bogie King and Bogie Magic when he had them and he left them with us for the week and went home and came back. It was a big thrill last year but it was a much bigger one this year”
It was through Ayre that Rawlings met the owner of Bogie Prince and Bogie Magic, Leslie Bein, before purchasing the latter to race for his family, whilst Bein still retains ownership of both Bogie Prince and the handy racebitch Wiregrass, which Rawlings also trains.
“Through Ryan I met Les. I actually went up to Queensland for a holiday just before Gawler last year because he came and stayed with us earlier for the City Cup and I met Les up there and I got an association with him. He sent down (Bogie) Prince and Wiregrass and I asked about buying (Bogie) Magic and he let him go to us. Les has been great and he is happy and sending down some more soon.”
Since purchasing Bogie Magic in late August, the three and a half year old has had six SA starts for his Lewiston conditioner, from which he has notched up five wins. Rawlings is not surprised with the dazzling form of his kennel star having always had a high opinion of the speedster
“He came over with a bit of an ear infection and his form had dropped off a little bit up there but, again through John Katakasi, we got the ear sorted. It didn’t really surprise me because we always knew he could run and he had already made three group finals before he came here- the Lismore, Ipswich and Gawler Cups”
After taking out his training license when he was 18, Rawlings is certainly making himself known in the SA training ranks with his talented team going from strength to strength at present. With 14 dogs in his racing kennels also including the likes of Ali The Great and the aforementioned Wiregrass, the name Ben Rawlings is sure to be one featuring prominently on the winner’s list in upcoming months. For now, the memory of his first Group victory is something that will take a little getting used to
“Ali The Great was going real good a month and a half/ two months ago and then he tore his calf. He will be coming back soon and we have little Wiregrass- she stepped up over the 640 last night (Sunday) and stuck on really good for third and she hit the line well. Hopefully she will stay- she might be a nice stayer”
“The last few months have been real good. From July to now I think we have had close to 50 winners- it has just been super”
“Hopefully I will keep going now. I think we have watched the replay about 300 times already but I don’t think I will ever get sick of watching it”.