OAKVILLE trainer Michael Eberand has warned punters not to discount his up-and-coming stayer Lord Golec from this Saturday’s Group 1 National Distance Championship at Wentworth Park, despite the greyhound’s massive $51 price with online bookmaker Bet365.
The black chaser qualified for the $75,000 to-the-winner feature behind front-running half-miler Magic Earner in last week’s NSW title, finishing four-and-three-quarter-lengths second in a time of 42.17.
Eberand says although it is a tough final against some of the best stayers in Australia, he is going into the race with confidence that his charge will perform well.
“I do believe he is a genuine chance despite his big price,” Eberand said.
“I think it is a good field, but it is also an open one. If Sweet It Is has luck she will win, but it is pretty open for the placings and if she were to find trouble then anything could happen.
“I’m not going into the race thinking we can’t win.”
Amazingly, Lord Golec only turned two years of age last Friday, with the youngster giving away plenty of age to his competitors, the next youngest being fellow NSW representative Magic Earner which is over 12 months older than Eberand’s chaser.
“Most of the field is well over three years of age so he is giving a way a fair bit of experience to his rivals,” Eberand said.
“I did try to hold him back over the sprints and over 600 – I took him to Grafton over the 610 in preparation for the Stayers Cup, but he didn’t start to wind up until half way down the home straight.
“I knew then that there wasn’t much point continuing to race over the middle distance as there was too much of a risk that he was going to get knocked around.
“He is bred to stay and he was showing me that he was ready for it so I stepped him up. Although he has only had one win since stepping up, he hasn’t been unplaced yet and he has been running into some very good dogs each time.”
Lord Golec, which is named after former Western Sydney Wanderers player Antony Golec, has had stayer written all over him since day one. By Bekim Bale, the sire of Space Star, Lord Golec is out of Eberand’s handy race bitch Ebby Miss.
“Ebby Miss was in five or six group finals and she ran second in a Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park. She had some major injuries throughout her career which she came back from to do that.
“We decided to breed with her and we wanted to produce some stayers which is why we went to Bekim Bale, so we are very happy to have got some pups that look like they are going to be good stayers.”
Owned by Eberand’s 18-year-old son Brad, the father and son duo have high hopes for their youngster in the future.
“He is still adapting to Wentworth Park, he tends to run wide and loose a bit of ground through the corners, but I am sure that he will be capable of breaking 42 with some more experience.”
Champion stayer Sweet It Is (box three) is the $1.75 favourite with Sportsbet and will be chasing her second consecutive Distance Championship after taking out last year’s final at Cannington. If successful, she would be just the second greyhound to do so in the history of the event behind Queenslander Boronia Blossom.
Also in the market is perennial Group 1 bridesmaid Lady Toy (box eight – $4.00), with Magic Earner (box five) currently $6.50 with William Hill. Tasmanian hopeful Lillycette, trained by leading mentor Ted Medhurst is the next best in the market, with a generous $12 available for the likely leader with Bet365.
The Group 1 National Distance Championship is race six at Wentworth Park and will jump at 9:12pm AEST.
Lets check out the form of each runner, with selections and comments from Australian Racing Greyhound‘s form analyst, Brad Bugeja.
Box One – Lillycette
Black Bitch – 25.8kg – April 2012
Velocette x Come Over Nova
Prize money: $60,140
Trainer: Ted Medhurst
Career: 50: 23-10-3
T/D: 4: 0-2-0
T/D Best: 42.18
“Tasmanian representative. She has built up an imposing record in her home state, but she is taking on some genuine top-liners tonight and I think she will have her work cut out. She is drawn to lead them up but I think she will cop a lot of pressure mid race and therefore she is likely to fold up. Can maybe run a place if she gets away mid race, but I’m not convinced about her prospects.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $12 with Bet365
Box Two – Lord Golec
Black Dog – 33.7kg – August 2013
Bekim Bale x Ebby Miss
Prize money: $17,198
Trainer: Michael Eberand
Career: 19: 5-5-6
T/D: 6: 1-3-2
T/D Best: 42.34
“Up and coming stayer. He appears to be getting better with every run over this journey. He has been placed in all six tries over this trip and he is a must for your exotic bets. He is likely to settle just beyond mid field, but if he can get to the outside he will put in some big strides and he could add value to the Trifecta dividend.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $51 with Bet365
“Champion just continues to win everything and the manner in which she has been winning her races of late is extremely impressive. She has a good record here and this is probably the easiest final she has and will contest in her career. I’m expecting her to drop out in the early stages, but she should get to them off the back straight and she will roar away for an easy victory. Out and out star and if she wins this race she will strengthen her case for being one of the greatest stayers of all time.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $1.75 with Sportsbet
Box Four – Psychotic Gold
Black Bitch – 27.3kg – December 2011
Vapour Whirl x Molly’s Gold
Prize money: $71,645
Trainer: Petar Jovanovic
Career: 42: 17-7-5
T/D: 1: 0-0-0
T/D Best: 42.57
“Classy SA stayer and she could be a nice place bet in this event. I don’t think she is good enough to score as she does get a long way back in her races, but if Sweet It Is can reel them in early, the leaders should bunch and that will allow her to pick them off late in the race. She is big odds for the place at present and it could be worth having something on her early as there might be some support as race time gets closer.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $26 with Bet365
Box Five – Magic Earner
Black Bitch – 28.1kg – July 2012
High Earner x Magic Capers
Prize money: $71,890
Trainer: Anthony Azzopardi
Career: 44: 13-12-6
T/D: 4: 3-0-1
T/D Best: 42.15
“Up and coming stayer and she has really impressed in her three recent victories here. With a clear run she would be able to balance up in the top two or three early and she would run an absolute bottler. From the middle pin she is likely to find early bother, and she can’t afford to give some of her more seasoned opponents too big of a head start.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $6.50 with William Hill
Box Six – Mullaway
Black Dog – 35.2kg – May 2012
Velocette x Halzini
Prize money: $128,978
Trainer: Joanne Price
Career: 58: 19-12-4
T/D: 4: 1-1-2
T/D Best: 42.17
“If anyone is going to roll the favourite, he could be the one. He has always been blessed with enormous talent and if he happened to land on the lure he is capable of running some serious sectionals. His state final win was just average but he tends to race well here and he could be the surprise packet in the event.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $12 with William Hill
Box Seven – Deadly Boy
Black Dog – 30.6kg – March 2012
Superman x Dyna Gabi
Prize money: $110,010
Trainer: John Carmody
Career: 72: 22-14-11
T/D: 0: 0-0-0
T/D Best: N/A
“Has won four on the trot at Mandurah in fine style, but this is clearly a step up for him and I can’t see him featuring in the finish. Over this journey he will need to lead to win and with the speed in boxes one, five and six, he is likely to be posted wide early and that will be the end of his chances. Great effort to qualify but I don’t think he has the strength to go with some of these.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $31 with Sportsbet
Box Eight – Lady Toy
Black Bitch – 29.7kg – June 2012
Our Toyman x Railway Shiraz
Prize money: $344,760
Trainer: Brooke Ennis
Career: 71: 21-18-14
T/D: 3: 2-1-0
T/D Best: 41.85
“Capable of running an amazing 650m, but the last 70m has proven to be a struggle for her in recent times. She is a keen railer but the wide draw isn’t too big of a disadvantage and if she can step on terms she should have the speed to get across and settle in a commanding position. Clearly she has great winning prospects, but I do think she is under the odds and even if she does lead she will have trouble holding out the favourite in the run home.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $4.00 with William Hill
1st Reserve – Ada Mary
Brindle Bitch – 28.1kg – June 2012
High Earner x Silver Shiraz
Prize money: $37,524
Trainer: Sharon Grey
Career: 36: 12-4-3
T/D: 10: 3-1-2
T/D Best: 42.38
“Led for a long way here last week and if she happened to gain a start she could run a cheeky race again. Unlikely to win but she could hold on for some minor money.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $41 with Bet365
2nd Reserve – Smooth Number
Black Dog – 29.4kg – December 2012
Smooth Fancy x Ironbark Rebel
Prize money: $60,569
Trainer: Allen Hansen
Career: 66: 15-15-10
T/D: 15: 4-5-1
T/D Best: 42.28
“Honest chaser and he has a great record over this track and trip, unlikely to gain a run but if he did from an inside draw he would have strong place claims.”
Odds to win the National Distance Championship: $41 with Bet365
Top Four: 3 – 4 – 6 – 8
Quinella: 3 to rove with 4,6,8 ($3 for 100%)
Exacta: 3,4,6/3,4,6,8 ($9 for 100%)
Trifecta: 3/4,6,8/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 3/4,6,8/4,6,8 ($6 for 100%)