Can Bekim Bolt his way to Summer Distance Plate glory?
BOLT Like Bekim (Bekim Bale x Kim Keeping May '15) will be aiming to repay Weston trainer David Power for his patience and perseverance when he lines up in Saturday's Group 2 Summer Distance Plate (720m) at Wentworth Park.
The talented stayer has been plagued by injury throughout his career, most notably by two injured hocks, which kept him sidelined for seven months last year.
Since resuming, Bolt Like Bekim has been in great form, winning three of his eight starts with three placings including a fast 42.42 win at Wentworth Park on January 6.
He followed up that run with a solid second placing behind his litter brother Packey Keeping in his heat of the Summer Distance Plate on the weekend – beaten five lengths in 42.39.
Power revealed there was a query whether Bolt Like Bekim would be sound enough to take his place in the heats and says he was relieved to see his greyhound do enough to qualify.
“He pulled up sore in his hock after his win there and it was only minor, but it was enough to make it touch and go as to whether he would go around,” Power told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“Luckily we got him right in time and he went good – his past couple of starts he has come out of the boxes a bit better so it was nice to see him balance up a bit closer in his heat.
“I was hoping he'd run in the first four just so he could make it through to the final, so second was a nice bonus.
“Thankfully he has pulled up well this week so he should be spot on for this Saturday.”
Power, who trained Bolt Like Bekim's dam Kim Keeping (Bit Chili x Sweet Keeping Apr '11) said the black dog has always shown immense ability and said he is relieved to see him showing that on the track after all of his injury concerns.
“He has always shown ability – he broke in well and from day one we knew we wouldn't see the best of him over 500.
“He was always going to be a stayer and now he is really starting to put it together. In a way I think the break did him good mentally as well – he has come back more mature and a better race dog.
“It's been a long road back to recovery for him but it's been worth it. His breeders Shayne and Charmaine have helped me out a lot and so has Ian [Hilditch] in order to get him back to the track – their support and advice has been terrific.”
Bolt Like Bekim will have to bring his best in order to take home the $40,000 winner's purse up against millionaire earner Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug '14).
Also qualifying is boom stayer Lochinvar Hugo (Barcia Bale x Lochinvar Vogue Apr '15), multiple group finalist Ebby Ripper (Sh Avatar x Ebby Miss Feb '15) and Group 3 Summer Cup winner Scott Keeping (Bekim Bale x Kim Keeping May '15).
Power said his charge is well boxed in the two, but explained he is going into the race with zero expectations and is just hoping for a safe journey.
“He needs to be left alone early but once he gets going he can really run,” he said.
“I don't think he'll be able to get too far back against this field, but if he can possie up early he is some chance.
“It would be great to see him go well, but honestly I am just happy to be in there and if he could run a place behind Fanta Bale I'd be thrilled.”
The Group 2 Summer Distance Plate will be run at Wentworth Park this Saturday night.