Garland puts the polish on Billy’s Bake (Barcia Bale x Evie’s Entity Mar ’15) and Cadalora (Spring Gun x Reimburst Jan ’14) which finished fourth in their heats of the $25,000 to the winner series on the weekend – enough to book them both a berth in the lucrative final.
Billy’s Bake is being touted as the next big thing in staying racing, having won four of his eight starts over the ‘half-mile’.
The black dog made his Wentworth Park debut on Saturday night, finishing nine and a half lengths behind champion greyhound Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14) which saluted in a slick 42.25.
Although initially disappointed with his effort, Garland said Billy’s Bake can be forgiven for the run.
“I thought he had his chance but with that being said he had a bit of an excuse – he hit the rail through the catching pen which didn’t help and then the six dog gave him a good whack,” Garland told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He also raced like he was very strange to the track so I think he will definitely improve for next week.”
Meanwhile, the Bendigo trainer said he was pleased with Cadalora which finished just over two lengths behind the winner of the first heat, Mr Shire (Magic Sprite x Slick Exit Mar ’14) which clocked 42.59.
“I was very pleased with Cadalora’s run – he isn’t as strong as Billy’s Bake and he didn’t travel up to Sydney well at all.
“He is a very strong 620m dog and he just toughs it out to the line. He has a nice draw in the final and I actually give him a sneaky chance at big odds.”
Both greyhounds have drawn well for the decider, with Billy’s Bake in box one and Cadalora in the two. Six-time group winner Fanta Bale will have to overcome box five to take home the title, whilst Mr Shire appears well-drawn out in the seven.
Garland, who works as a hairdresser when he isn’t training his five race dogs, rates Billy’s Bake as his best chance of winning the final, with the 11-time winner more than capable of causing an upset when on song.
“Now that he knows where he is going I am hoping he can go forward a bit off box one and run a nice race.
“It sounds bad to say it but if something goes wrong and Fanta Bale finds trouble I give him a big chance off the red.
“It’s not beyond him – he finished second in the Victorian Distance final [behind Burn One Down] and he actually ran past Fanta Bale that night when she led.
“Obviously he needs things to go his way a little bit but I do think he is going to make a top stayer and if he can find his best I give him a chance.”