BRUCE Tycoon (Cosmic Rumble x New Years Punch Jun ’13) shocked punters on Thursday night when upstaging some of Victoria’s top sprinters in a heat of the Vic Sprint Championship (515m) at Sandown Park at $27.
Despite being drawn awkwardly in box four, Bruce Tycoon was able to find the fence around the first turn and from there he proved too strong, defeating Lucky Chap (Brett Lee x Cawbourne Whip Mar ’15) and Extreme Magic (Black Magic Opal x Outlandish Feb ’15) in a best of night 29.59.
Although many were shocked by the result, the greyhound’s trainer Rob Britton said it was no surprise to him to see the fawn dog salute.
“I thought he was a good chance without being a standout and he found the fence and toughed it out – I was happy that he proved me right,” Britton told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“Someone pointed out to me the other day that he hasn’t been in a fifth grade since March 2016, so it just shows how good he actually is.
“To have raced the very best dogs for so long and so competitively is a massive credit to him.”
Star veteran Bruce Tycoon gave Rob Britton an early birthday present last night with a National Sprint heat win.
— Sandown Greyhounds (@sandowndogs) August 4, 2017
Bruce Tycoon, a winner of the Group 2 McKenna Memorial and a four-time group finalist, has now won 32 of his 108 starts with 34 minor placings, his career earnings now in excess of $246,000.
The four-year-old veteran will face a challenge in the final this week off box seven, with the winner qualifying for the Group 1 National Sprint Championship at Albion Park on August 25.
“He has been a great old dog – I don’t think he has lost any ability and he is a pretty easy dog to work out,” Britton said.
“He probably needs an inside box to be at his best, but if he can find the fence he is going to be competitive in any race.
“Box seven will make it tough this week so we are not expecting anything, but it would be the biggest buzz in the world if he were to make the final as he is a kennel favourite and I’ve always said whatever he does on the racetrack he will be an even better pet one day.”
Here's the box draw for next Thursday's Victorian National Sprint final.
— Sandown Greyhounds (@sandowndogs) August 3, 2017
Britton already has one through to the Nationals, with champion stayer Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14) set to represent the ‘Big V’ in the National Distance Championship.
The brilliant bitch finished fourth in the Victorian Distance Championship at The Meadows on Saturday night, but will progress through to the $75,000 to the winner showpiece as the highest AGRA ranked stayer to have made its state final.
After leading on Saturday night, Fanta Bale tired in the closing stages, with Burn One Down (Buck Fever x Fancy Jaffa Jan ’14) saluting for leading conditioners Jason and Seona Thompson.
Despite failing to run a place, Britton said he was far from disappointed with the run – Fanta Bale’s first 700 since winning the Group 1 Gold Cup at Albion Park in June.
“It was a cold wintery night so it was a tough ask to lead all the way against a dog like Burn One Down who is a track specialist,” Britton said.
“I was happy with the run – I was concerned about the conditions on the night but she got through it ok which was the main thing so now we’ll push on towards the final.”
— The Meadows (MGRA) (@TheMeadowsDogs) August 5, 2017
Britton said Fanta Bale will not be pushed too hard in the next few weeks as he aims to get her spot on for August 25.
“The priority now is making sure she is at 100 per cent for the final,” he said.
“She’ll have a couple of 500s between now and then – she works very hard at home so I don’t need to stretch her out any more than that.”