Despite having won impressively at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night, the Gary Johnson prepared chaser Mushy Peas will not contest next week’s Launceston Cup heats.
“He has a niggling injury and is not suited by the tight circuit, in fact it was his first win at the venue, so I will be contesting Invitations at the Devonport Raceway and Tattersalls Park with him rather than taking him back to the Tote Racing Centre so soon,” the trainer revealed on Tuesday.
Heavily supported into odds of $2.30, Mushy Peas blitzed a smart field by seven lengths on Monday night to take out the Tote Speed Betting Grade 5 event in the time of 30.11.
By Shiokaze from the Restless Stan bitch Bouncy Bertha, Mushy Peas has now won 12 of 40 lifetime starts and stakes of almost $25,000 and is proving to be a wonderful money-spinner for Ulverstone owner Mike Hardy.
Hardy, who shares an interest in the sport with his wife Sheila, named Mushy Peas after a traditional English dish and raced and trained greyhounds in Great Britain before transferring to Tasmania several years ago.
He rekindled his interest by breeding a litter by Restless Stan from the Worthy Reward bitch Our Girl Osti, owned by former leading jockey David Bundy and actually prepared Bouncy Bertha himself to win seven races including the Breeders Classic in Launceston.
“I then bred a litter from her by Shiokaze which included Primitive Cool, the winner of two races and Mushy Peas and now have two ten-month-old pups by Collide to go on with,” he explained.
Shiokaze, a Queensland based stud-dog, was selected on the advice of Launceston greyhound racing enthusiast Stuart Genge, who was an associate of the chasers’s trainer Ray Ball.
“Stuart lent me a DVD which included about twenty of Shiokaze’s victories and I was suitably impressed,” Hardy explained.
“He had brilliant early speed and was obviously a top class performer, so I did not hesitate to buy a straw and breed the litter by him.”
Hardy entrusted Johnson with the training of Mushy Peas when he and his wife travelled back to England to check-up on his elderly mother.
“I handled Mushy Peas early on but then decided it was better for Gary to look after him because we make regular trips back to England and everything is working out perfectly,” he explained.
Meanwhile another of the Johnson team which will be contesting the upcoming Launceston Cup heats is Monday night’s surprise winner Metropolis, which took out the Racing Thursday 3RD February Grade 4 event at odds of $12.30.
On Monday night he accounted for the very smart Smokin Gonzales in the time of 30.15 and may very well have turned the corner.
The Leith based Johnson enjoyed a great night at the Tote Racing Centre, winning also with Colma, a son of Pure Octane, which recorded 30.17 in winning the Radio Sport National Grade 4 event at odds of $14.40.
The trainer has no grandiose plans for that chaser and will simply continue to race him through the grades in an attempt to enhance his lifetime record of three wins from 41 stakes and earnings of $8,300.