TWO Bills (Spring Gun x China Lady Feb ’15) proved he is one of the hottest greyhounds in Tasmania with a brilliant 29.54 victory at Launceston on Monday.
Trained at Brighton by Shane Whitney, Two Bills bounced straight to the front from box seven and never looked in danger, cruising to the line to score by five and three quarter lengths over race favourite High Treason (Barcia Bale x Cheetah Zorro Jan ’15).
It was a welcome return to the winner’s circle for Two Bills, which was having just his second start back from six weeks on the sidelines after being injured in a heat of the Tasmanian Distance Championship in July.
“It was great to see him back,” Whitney told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He has always shown ability since day one, but when he started out he wasn’t really getting around the two turn tracks. With a bit of experience, he seems to have worked it all out now and he is certainly proving that he can run.”
Two Bills has now won 12 of his 31 starts with nine placings and $28,830 in prize money earnings for Whitney and his owner, Bill Bailey.
“He was bred by a bloke named Arthur Hirst and I was at the trial track one day and he was telling me that he was sick and that he needed to sell some of his pups,” Whitney explained.
“Bill was there with me that day and we ended up talking him into buying a pup and luckily for him he has turned out to be a nice dog.”
Two Bills has already ventured to the mainland throughout his career, making the final of the Group 3 New Sensation at Wentworth Park and contesting a heat of the Group 3 The Racecallers at Sandown.
Whitney believes the black chaser has the ability to win a feature race – and he should know a thing or two – having trained former champion stayer Chinatown Lad (Lilli Pilli Lad x Chinatown Babe Dec ’05).
Fittingly, Two Bills is a maternal grandson of Whitney’s dual group 1 winner, with his dam China Lady by Chinatown Lad out of a bitch named Painted Dove.
“His nature isn’t anything like Chinatown Lad – but the way he races does remind me of him,” Whitney said.
“He has got a massive motor and when he gets to the front he just seems to be able to keep going.
“Obviously he has a fair way to go to be like him, but he has the ability, he has actually gone faster times than Chinatown Lad had at this stage of his career.
“Hopefully he can keep going the way he is at the moment because I think with a bit of luck he is capable of winning a big race.”
The pair could be more similar than most think, with Whitney also convinced that Two Bills will be a nice stayer.
“He’s run well over the 600 and has had one start over 700. Unfortunately, he hurt his wrist during the race so we didn’t get to see what he could do.
“But he is a very strong dog and he is bred to stay – I think he will run it out nicely down the track.”
For now, Whitney, who has seven greyhounds in work, says he will keep his star greyhound to the sprint trips with some lucrative features coming up later in the year.
“There are some good races coming up such as the Launceston Cup and the Hobart Thousand so there is no point stepping him back up while he is racing well over the sprints,” he said.
“He has the home track advantage and he has shown that he is good enough to mix it with the best of them over 500.
“If there is a grade five series at Sandown Park I might head over there to give him a crack at it, but other than that he’ll just keep racing over here until after our big races and then we’ll look at putting him over more ground.”