Sometimes you have to just stand back and applaud your opponent.
And that was what veteran Sydney greyhound trainer Frank Hurst did after Good Odds Cash’s second-placed finish last start, ahead of the $11,000 TAB Million Dollar Chase semi-finals at Wentworth Park on Friday night.
Hurst’s talented two-year-old ran an outstanding time of 29.53 seconds in the $6610 “MDC Final May 7” at the NSW home of greyhound racing on April 20.
But from box eight it was not good enough to beat this year’s Golden Easter Egg winner for Jodie Lord, She’s A Pearl, who ran a scorching 29.38 seconds from the No.4 lane.
That is why Hurst will go into Friday night’s semi-finals confident his young bitch can advance to the final of the world’s richest greyhound racing event.
“She ran 29.53 and got beaten by a very good bitch,” he told australianracinggreyhound.com.
“Her trainer is a mate of mine. I don’t wish bad on anyone, and she’s a fantastic bitch.
“She’s just had a bit of luck and a bit more luck than us, without criticising her.
“She’s always drawn inside us and we’ve been stuck in seven and eight.
“By the time you get across and in position the bird’s flown because she’s that good.
“You don’t get a chance to run her down. But in saying that if we led she’d have trouble running us down.”
Before her last start, Good Odds Cash was also beaten by She’s A Pearl, finishing second in the $338,000 Golden Easter Egg final at Wentworth Park.
On March 21, she won the $54,000 Maitland Gold Cup (450m) in 24.85 seconds.
And last year she prevailed over her fair share of star chasers. So there is no doubt the two-year-old will be hard to beat on Friday night.
“You can’t be overconfident in that sort of race. They’re all good dogs – that’s why they’re in it,” Hurst said.
“But she’s a good bitch and she was set for this race.
“It was only (on August 28 last year) she beat Wow at Bulli, Jungle Juice at Wenty in a fast time (29.73 seconds on October 30) and Zipping Kyrgios in a fast time at Dapto (29.51 seconds on August 12).
“She led and they got behind her and they didn’t look like running her down.
“They were the best three dogs in New South Wales at the time, and she was beating them.
“It wasn’t that long ago she was rated the best bitch in NSW and probably the second-best bitch in Australia. So she’s got some ability.
“She’s only young. They’re at their prime at her age. And she’s been in all the big races.”
Hurst – the 2019 Million Dollar Chase winner with Good Odds Harada who ran a stunning time of 29.34 seconds – said saluting in this event was like winning an Olympic gold medal.
“It’s what everyone strives for – all the best dogs in Australia make it,” he said.
“You’ve got to work your way into it. It takes a good dog to get into the final.
“Jason Mackay’s dog (Get It Gizmo) ran third. They’re great dogs. I believe it’s the pinnacle.
“The Million Dollar Chase is the gold-medal race and everyone wants to win the gold medal.”
Hurst now runs a small operation, but the star veteran trainer is just happy to be alive after having a tumour removed from his brain in 2020.
It would not have been discovered if it wasn’t for an incident on the training track after a dog he was training crashed into him, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms.
Subsequent scans revealed his tumour before he then got it removed.
“I went through a bit, so I’m just thrilled to be here,” Hurst said.
“And having three or four good dogs as well – it doesn’t get much better than that for a dog trainer.
“We’ve only got four or five dogs in work. We’ve cut back a lot.
“We breed our own. Just a couple of litters every year to keep us going.
“But we’re happy with greyhound racing in general. The prizemoney is sensational.”