Last week at Healesville, Coco Benz went into the heats of the Group Two Healesville Cup in her very first run for trainer David Geall. This week the pair continue their “against-the-grain” style when Geall rugs up Coco Benz from box seven as the only bitch in the $43,750 to-the-winner final.
The daughter of Bright Ebony and On The Ball sizzled out of box one last Sunday in a first split of 6.40, over a tenth quicker than any other dog in the final. She then railed all the way up the straight to win in a slick 19.04.
Geall had been forewarned by the owners of the sheer speed that Coco Benz possesses, but admits he may have underestimated just how good she is and how quickly she would fit in.
“She has surprised me at how fast she is but she hasn’t surprised the owners. I thought she might take a few more runs to get used to our way of training down here, but she has settled in really well and has virtually done the job straight away,” Geall said.
Coco Benz was trained in Queensland by Geoffrey Uhrhane, who together with his parents Dennis and Nina own Coco Benz under the guise of the Sovereign Racing Partners.
Geall cannot speak highly enough of the Uhrhane family, who have put their faith in him to guide their speedy bitch through the world’s richest straight track series, and believe she has a good chance in the race.
“The owners are terrific people up in Queensland, Dennis, Nina and Geoffrey Uhrhane. They said she was an explosive dog with very fast sectionals before she arrived. They seem to think she will still go well from the outside.”
Coco Benz was originally sent to Geall only for her tilt at the Cup, but he hopes that the winner of 14 races from 22 career starts may be around his kennels a little bit longer.
“It’s a huge thrill for the Uhrhane’s and us to be in a big group-two final. She has proven that she can measure up, that was a very good field that she was in last week. Owners all over Australia are well aware of how good the prize money is in Victoria, right across the board, so there is a possibility that she may stay a little bit longer.”
Geall explains that Coco Benz is one of the early fruits of the Uhrhane family’s massive investment into greyhound racing and that it may be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their future success.
“The Uhthane family are from the Queensland and they have built a five-star breeding and racing complex, in a place called Churchable about an hour from the Gold Coast. I’m lucky enough to have been there and it’s just state-of-the-art. They have poured a lot of money into racing and this is one of the first group of dogs that has come out of that racing establishment.
“They breed quite extensively, they have a nice stud dog up there (Westmead Osprey) and they just love their greyhounds. It is great to see them make a group-two final with one of the earlier dogs to come out of there.”
Geall has also raced Coco Benz litter sister, Leesa Benz, for a few months. She won her ninth career race on Friday night at Geelong and he says that she has plenty of ability too.
“Yeah I have got Leesa Benz too and she goes good. She has won nine races and is a very similar sort of bitch, not much between them in terms of ability but Coco Benz is more explosive out of the boxes.”
Geall knows that Sunday’s final will be a very tough race with multiple group winners lining up in the event.
“It is a very strong field, you probably couldn’t get a much better field. I still put her in with a good chance, the draw hasn’t helped but she is a very fast bitch.”
Should Coco Benz salute on Sunday afternoon, there may well be over 40,000 reasons that we see her and David Geall team up for a little while longer.