BEKIN Street (Bekim Bale x Serisier Street Sep ’15) affirmed his status as one of the hottest prospects in greyhound racing with a emphatic victory in Saturday’s NSW Sprint Championship (520m) at Wentworth Park.
Trained by Christine and Alan Proctor, Bekin Street was only fairly into stride, but used box one to his advantage by pushing up along the fence around the first turn, railing into second spot behind Royal Turbo (Swift Fancy x Addiction Jan ’15).
Down the back the black dog slipped into top gear, cutting back the margin before finding the lead entering the home straight and holding off a late challenge from dual group winner Mister Twister (Collision x Double Twist Jan ’15) to score by one and one quarter lengths in 30.08.
Christine Proctor will head to yet another National Final after Bekin Street takes out the NSW Sprint Final 30.08!
— The Dogs (@Thedogs_com_au) August 12, 2017
El Magnifico (El Grand Senor x Little Grey Mar ’14) rounded out the placings, with Royal Turbo tiring to finish fifth across the line.
Alan Proctor said he was elated with Bekin Street’s effort to chase down the leader against such quality opposition.
“I thought he might have begun a bit better than he did but the two gave him a nice run into the race and Jason’s dog [Mister Twister] got a bit of a bump around the first turn which helped us,” Proctor told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“When he got into second I knew he was a good chance although I was worried because Mister Twister was right behind him – but full credit to the dog – he was able to hold on and he did it very well.”
Bekin Street has now won eight of his 14 starts with five minor placings, his career earnings now closing in on $35,000.
Proctor admitted it was a big decision to place the promising pup in the series against the state’s best greyhounds, but said Bekin Street affirmed the faith he had in his ability.
“We thought it might have been a big ask from him putting him into the series with just 12 starts, but he has just kept stepping up and that’s what makes a good dog,” he said.
“He was the youngest and most inexperienced dog going into the race which shows just how good he is – he has a lot of ability.
“He isn’t a brilliant beginner but for such a young dog he is very smart in a field – he has got a good head on his shoulders and he seems to be able to map out where is going throughout the race.”
The win booked the 36-kilogram powerhouse a spot in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship which will see the winners from each state final converge on Albion Park for a crack at the $75,000 winner’s cheque on August 25.
Proctor concedes it will be another massive rise in class for Bekin Street, with a good box draw essential if he is to succeed.
“We want to be drawn down towards the fence – in these races it is hard to get across from out wide unless you are a brilliant beginner,” he said.
“If he draws well you’d have to give him a chance – he is just going to need that little bit of luck early to show his speed once he hits the ground.
“There is no doubt it is going to be a great final – Aston Dee Bee looks the one to beat – his [qualifying] run at Sandown Park was sensational and of course the Queenslanders have the home track advantage so they’ll be hard to beat too.”
Proctor will be hoping its third time lucky in the Nationals, having contested the final in 2014 and 2015 with his former star galloper Bessy Boo (Bekim Bale x My Black Bess Mar ’12), his best finish being a second in the 2015 decider at Wentworth Park.
Proctor said Bekin Street still has a long way to go to emulate the feats of 44-time winner Bessy Boo, but says he is grateful to have another greyhound good enough to compete at the top level again.
“It’s just nice to be there – Chris and I can’t believe how fortunate we are to be travelling the country with a dog after having Bessy Boo,” he said.
“I’ve always said he was the best dog I’ve had and that I’d never get another one like him, but to have one good enough to compete in these big races again is just unreal.
“It’s funny, this dog’s owner actually rang me up to take him and told me that he was going to be my next Bessy Boo – I thought it was a big statement at the time but so far he is doing everything we could have possibly asked from him and I think he is only going to get better.”