Owned by the Black Sheep Syndicate, which includes Michael Wittholz, Baa Man is trained at Lewiston by Karen Wittholz and comes into the event after a blistering victory over 400m at Angle Park last Wednesday.
Stepping from box seven, Baa Man jumped well and carved across to take the early lead and was too strong in the run to the line, defeating Magic Me (Magic Sprite x Mighty Hot Aug ’14) by three and three quarter lengths in a best of day 22.11.
Wittholz said she went to the track last week expecting the brindle dog to perform well, but admits she was pleasantly surprised to see him win so convincingly.
“We thought he’d go well – he’s been around the mark at his last couple of runs and he jumped beautifully the other day.” Wittholz told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It’s a lot easier to win when you are out in front rather than trying to come from behind.
“I was surprised when the time came up though – we haven’t had one go that quick in a very long time.”
Baa Man will now step up in distance over the 531m at Gawler for the first time since winning his maiden in a moderate 31.44 on debut in June.
Wittholz is optimistic he is ready for the longer trip, although he meets a handy field including Troy Murray’s Aston Hinkley (Collision x Hope’s Up Apr ’15).
“I think he’ll run it out ok but you never really know until you try them. He might be a bit underdone going into the race this week, but hopefully he can get out and give a good sight.
“When he first started out he showed a fair bit of promise but he got injured. He had a run before we picked the injury up so he needed some time off so we could work on it.
“We started him back out over the 400s to get some fitness – but we want to get him back over the 500 again now – we can’t wrap him up in cotton wool forever.”
A winner of three from eight with three minor placings, Baa Man is bred to run being out of Just Crazy (Cosmic Rumble x Snow Excuse Jun ’11) which is a half-sister to former group performers Weblec Belle (Dyna Tron x Snow Excuse Dec ’12) and Weblec Rose – all of which were bred by Wittholz.
“We lost Snow Excuse who is the mother of Weblec Belle – but we wanted to keep the line going so we tried to get our hands on another daughter of hers, Just Crazy, who is by Cosmic Rumble and who we had sold as a pup.” Wittholz, who has eight greyhounds in work, explained.
“We got her back and we put her to Dyna Tron because he had produced a very good litter to her mother.
“There has been nothing spectacular in the litter so far, but a few of them look handy. They don’t turn two until November and five out of the eight of them have already won races.”
Baa Man looks the winner of race six at Gawler this Tuesday which is set to jump at 1.46pm.