BRUEGHELINO (Banjo Boy x Easy Baby May ’15) will be looking to give her trainer Des Douch his biggest achievement in greyhound racing when she contests next Monday’s Group 1 Hume Cup (600m) at The Meadows.
The black bitch was having her first test over 600m in a heat of the feature on Saturday night and could not have been more impressive, leading throughout to score by close to four lengths in a best of night 34.32.
Douch said he didn’t have any concerns about Brueghelino running out the testing trip, after a strong win at Sandown over 500m and an impressive box to box trial, a common practice where the dog catches the lure after one lap.
“She also ran good time and I am hoping she can improve on that heading into the final,” he said.
Brueghelino is now the winner of nine races from just 15 starts, having also run two seconds and two thirds. She has been particularly impressive since resuming from a five-month spell back in September, winning five of her seven outings.
“She had a season so I gave her time off for that and she has come back very nicely – she ran fourth at her first start back at Warragul but the distance didn’t really suit,” Douch explained.
“After that I stepped her up to 500 and she has improved with every run as she was getting fitter, her times keep getting quicker. She is progressing really well.
“They can only keep improving until a certain point, but she keeps improving and maturing – the time off probably did her the world of good.
“Hopefully she has still got a little bit more in store which we haven’t seen yet.”
Brueghelino will face her biggest test to date in the group 1 final on Melbourne Cup eve, coming up against a sensational field including fellow heat winners Mystery Ride, Allen Mike, Where Art Thou and Riley Tokaam.
The black and white bitch, a litter sister to boom sprinter Big Flood, will jump from box seven in the $110,000 final – a draw from which Douch says she will have to do everything right.
“She has been getting the start right lately and I would rather see her up near the front early – although she has come from behind in the past,” he said.
“She has a wide draw this week which probably isn’t ideal from the corner start, but she is a good chance if she can get up into second or third in the straight the first time.
“Against these dogs I wouldn’t like to be any further back than that.”
Douch, who bred the litter from his short-course sprinter Easy Baby and reared the litter with his brother Gary, said it would be an enormous thrill to see Brueghelino get the job done in the Hume Cup final.
“She has always showed promise and she is a very good little chaser – the whole litter are very honest.
“Right from the word go they have hit the ground running. My brother did a great job rearing them – we swapped them around a bit and from a very early age I had them on the walking machine and running on the straight tracks.
“I would be rapt if she could win – she has already run second in a group 3 but a group 1 win would be fantastic. I haven’t had my trainers licence for all that long so even going into the final is great and I am over the moon just to be there.”
2017 Group 1 Hume Cup – box draw
1. Mystery Ride
2. Van Ann
3. Riley Tokaam
5. Allen Mike
8. Where Art Thou
9. Hit The Highway
10. Exs And Ohs