For owners, breeders and trainers like David Burnett and Barry Moloney, fate has played a very big part in two particular Group One winning dogs that they each have in their possession.
Burnett and Moloney have Kiss Me Ketut and Marcus Joe engaged in the $250,000 to the winner Group One Australian Cup on Saturday night at The Meadows. They are also eligible for a $10,000 GOBIS bonus.
Burnett and Moloney are the only two in the race that have bred their finalist and own and train their finalist. Even more remarkable is that both greyhounds are kennelled in Marcus Hill and are in fact kennelled beside each other at Moloney’s place.
So how did fate play a role for Burnett and Moloney?
It’s no secret that Burnett bred Kiss Me Ketut and it’s no secret that Burnett purchased the dog at the Ready to Race auction at Bendigo. However, Burnett has not always owned the dog after he made the decision to sell the dog at 12 months and spend a little while out of greyhound racing.
However, fate predetermined that Kiss Me Ketut would somehow end up back with Burnett and bring him back into the sport of greyhound racing.
“I bought his mother, I bred the litter, I whelped the litter, sold him at 12 months and ended up buying him back through the series to race.”
Kiss Me Ketut is extremely well bred and gives his owner great pleasure that he was able to breed a dog as good as Kiss Me Ketut.
“It’s even more pleasing when you breed them. I went out of my way to buy the bitch. She’s by Spiral Nikita and Flying Amy, a Hall of Fame bitch, is the grandmother. She has fantastic bloodlines and I went to Bombastic Shiraz to get this litter.”
Kiss Me Ketut has made numerous Group race finals and his owner is very fond of him. He has managed to give Burnett a great ride.
“I’ve been in dogs 16 years and you dream about having a dog like this. To win a Brisbane Cup and be in the Adelaide Derby and also be in the Melbourne Cup and then in the Australian Cup, the two biggest Victorian races, and he’s just 30 months old.”
As for the dog himself, Kiss Me Ketut is quite a character and endears himself well to those around him.
“He’s a character in his own right. He likes to get in the back seat of the station wagon. He puts his head on the console between the driver and the passenger and depending on who his favourite person is and which way he’s facing, he puts his paw up on the shoulder to say g’day as you’re driving along. He does a good job that way.”
In terms of Kiss Me Ketut’s preparation, Burnett has elected to stick to his normal routine.
“I try to stay in the same routine as much as possible. I try not to do anything different. In the old days when I was learning I had a tendency to go and change something, but I’ve learnt now.”
As mentioned earlier, both Kiss Me Ketut and Marcus Joe are housed in the same kennel block because Burnett and Moloney share kennels. Which brings me to Barry Moloney and Marcus Joe.
Moloney bred Marcus Joe with the intention of selling him, but things don’t always go to plan.
“I bred the litter to sell most, other than keep the bitches. First of all, I advertised them in the National Greyhound Form and that ad ran for three weeks and didn’t get a phone call. Eventually the word got around and a few of my friends purchased them. As I only had $2,000 on them, they went one by one but I couldn’t sell Joe. He actually had an accident when he was quite young, about 12 weeks old, he split his kneecap, so I couldn’t sell him and didn’t want to sell him under those conditions, that’s how I came to keep him. The whole litter have been good, particularly the males.”
It’s a great thrill for Moloney to have another finalist in a Group One race, particularly one he bred.
“It’s taken a long time. It’s taken 40 odd years for it to happen and it did happen so that’s good. It’s a great thrill, magic really.”
Like Burnett, Moloney shares a special bond with his dog.
“He’s unbelievable. He’s part of the furniture and there’s a pretty good bond there. He is a nice dog to have around, you don’t hear him through the day. He just does his work, goes to the races, sleeps, no stress. It all adds up to be successful. He can run. His win in the Maturity, he was the second quickest dog to go around there in the last 12 months or so. It was only Spud Regis that had a better winning time than him. He can run okay.”
The two dogs have drawn the “wings” on Saturday night, with Kiss Me Ketut set to don the red rug and Marcus Joe stepping out in pink. The two trainers will be hoping fate steps in once again as the boxes rise on Saturday night.