RAY and Mary Burman are hopeful that their talented racer Champagne Sally (Barcia Bale x Bizarre Barbie Apr ’15) can give them their first win at the highest level when she heads to The Meadows this Saturday night to compete in the Group 1 Zoom Top (725m).
The Queensland stayer was one of 10 final acceptances for the $75,000 invitation-only race where she will take on a terrific field, head-lined by million-dollar earner Fanta Bale. Also gaining a start in the feature was Sale Cup hero Quick Jagger, litter brothers Packey Keeping and Scott Keeping, boom youngster Rippin’ Sam, NSW stayer Ebby Ripper and fellow Queenslander Jalapeno.
Despite not having raced over ‘700’ since last November, Mary Burman says Champagne Sally should be spot on ahead of Saturday’s event.
“She hasn’t run over 700 for the past three months because we can’t get staying races up here in Queensland, but she went to The Meadows last Saturday and she trialled quite well.
“She has been limited to 600s and it’s on a corner start so you’ve got to come out well or it’s all over – hopefully she can find her feet this week now that she’s up in distance.
“She is a very fast animal; she is a serious greyhound. She does need a few things to fall into place for her, but if she gets some luck in running they will know she’s there.”
A three-time track record holder at Ipswich (29.97 – 520m; 36.68 – 630m) and Albion Park (34.43 – 600m), Champagne Sally has already mixed it with the best of them, competing in the Group 1 Bold Trease won by Fanta Bale on November 24.
All up Champagne Sally has won 17 races from 50 starts with seven wins and three thirds, her prize money in excess of $72,000. After coming up with box eight, Burman says her charge would be better suited towards the fence, but said she is still in with a chance if she can get some luck.
“The eight isn’t ideal. Her record speaks for itself, she’s broken three records off box one so I would have preferred to see her drawn closer to the fence because she is a very good railer.
“Now we’ve just got to hope she gets a bit of room to move early. She’s not a brilliant box dog, but she hits the ground running and then takes off.”
Champagne Sally is bred to run, being out of Bizarre Barbie (Velocette x Skinny Magic Feb ’10) which was a handy stayer herself, winning 12 of her 46 starts. One of her biggest wins was in a handicap race at The Meadows where she ran down dual Sandown Cup winner Irma Bale – a performance for which she was awarded 2012 AGRA run of the year.
Having bred the blue bitch to Barcia Bale and then having whelped, reared and broken-in the litter themselves, Burman said it is an enormous thrill for Champagne Sally to be lining up for her second group 1. If she can score an upset, it will be the Burmans’ first group 1 success after a long involvement in greyhound racing.
“We’ve been involved in greyhounds since 1974 – we had 10 years off while our children were growing up – but we’ve been back in the sport for around 20 years now.
“We’ve had a fair bit of success over the years. We won the Group 2 Hume Cup with Technoman, he wasn’t the fastest dog but he was a good little chaser.
“He also won the Group 3 Queensland Cup and then we had another dog named Super Hornet which won the Group 3 Ipswich Cup.
“It would be nice to add a group 1 win too, but whatever happens we are very proud of her.
“We are very excited to get a start in the Zoom Top – it is a privilege to be in a race like this.”
The Group 1 Zoom Top will be run at The Meadows this Saturday night.