MICK Thompson is set to experience the biggest thrill during his involvement in greyhound racing when his bonny bitch Bold Opal contests the Group 3 Ladies Bracelet (520m) at Wentworth Park this Saturday night.
The black bitch, trained by Beverley Sloan, has turned into a nice buy, winning seven of her 20 starts with an additional four minor placings.
Last week, Bold Opal ran second in her heat behind Dawn Mini, with that performance following a seventh over the track and trip three days prior.
Thompson said he was happy with the heat performance which puts her in good stead for the final.
“On the Wednesday night she slipped on the mat and didn’t do very well after that, but we decided to have a go in the Bracelet so we backed her up on the Saturday and she went very well,” Thompson told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“At one stage I thought she was going to go past the leaders and although that never happened, she stuck to her guns and made the final.
“I was rapt with the run.”
The final is packed full of quality, with Bold Opal meeting a field including the likes of She’s Grand (box one), Golden Easter Egg runner-up Lagoon Jazzy (box two) and the ultra-consistent Cardiology (box four).
Despite drawing box seven for the $25,000 to the winner feature, Thompson is optimistic Bold Opal can run a cheeky race.
“There are some good dogs in the final, but if you have got a dog with ability and you don’t have a go then you will never know,” he said.
“We can’t draw a good box with her, but if she ever draws a decent box I think we will see the best of her.
“She got checked today (Wednesday) and she should appreciate the week off so she can recharge her batteries.
“We are definitely excited to have one in the final.”
Thompson said it would be an enormous thrill to take out the feature and a deserved reward for trainer Beverley Sloan.
“We would be over the moon if she could win – it would look great on her CV as a brood bitch and it would be a massive thrill…hopefully it can be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
“No matter what happens we are stoked to have a finalist and I am very happy for Bev too because she does a great job with the dogs.
“No one gave us a chance in the heats and they don’t give us a chance in the final but I think it is a pretty open final and it is definitely up for grabs.”
The Group 3 Ladies Bracelet is race eight at Wentworth Park this Saturday night and is set to jump at 9.58pm.