Young Nilma trainer Luke Bottom, 20, is “in for a penny, in for a pound” when it comes to greyhound racing.
Bottom is so totally committed to the sport that he plans to sell his stake in Jindi Pig Butchers in Neerim South within the next 12 months in order to train greyhounds on a full-time basis.
“I’m heading towards it, but I’m not going to jump into deep water too quickly,” Bottom said.
Bottom, who moved out of his parents’ home a year ago to establish a one-and-a-half acre greyhound complex, will realise a childhood dream when Kay Ess Penny contests the Group 2 Warragul Cup on Friday night.
And he will be praying for some “pennies from heaven” – $26,000 in fact – to help fulfil his burning ambition to become a professional greyhound trainer.
Kay Ess Penny won a cup heat on Sunday at the lucrative quote of $23.80, and once again he will be a ‘bottom dog’ in the final.
“He pulled up sore in a hock and a fibula after winning at Warragul on January 6, so I could only exercise him on a lead for the 19 days prior to his 23.96sec heat win,” Bottom said.
“I’m expecting him to find around 3-4 lengths in the final, and he’ll need to if he’s going to be competitive against Taipan Bale and Vee Man Vane.”
Taipan Bale, runner-up in last year’s Warragul Cup, landed his heat in 23.66sec – just over one length outside the 424-metre track record. And Vee Man Vane, winner of last year’s Group 2 Ballarat Cup, recorded 23.71sec.