Bill and Serg Buccilli witnessed one of their star greyhounds destroy a track record yet again yesterday. The owners of Black Magic Opal must be getting used to track record runs, however yesterday was the time for the Buccilli’s other young superstar to shine, with Phenomenal obliterating the 570m Horsham track record. The son of Collision and Tocsin was simply amazing, lowering Irma Bale’s 32.28 track record with a 32.08 run. As stunning as the run was, it could have been faster, with Phenomenal losing his stride at one point in the run.
“While I was watching the race I did see him stumble and lift his head, but he gathered momentum pretty quickly and kept going. My first thought after the race was that if he didn’t stumble, could he have run sub thirty two. During the race I thought, gee, what happened there and I was hoping he hadn’t done anything. But he looked fine to me.” explained Bill.
Whilst Bill and Serg own two of Australia’s best greyhounds currently, that hasn’t always been the case for the cousins.
“Serg has been involved in the dogs for over twenty years and used to train them in his younger days as well, which he has stopped. I’ve been involved for eight years with Serg, it’s something that we wanted to do together for a bit of fun. When they race you get excited and when you own a winner it’s even more exciting, and then it just snowballs from there. We have had plenty of dogs that haven’t made the track, and plenty of others that have made the track but really struggled.”
“Serg picks out some good litters on breeding and we buy some pups, he researches the breeding side of it. We then have our own little ways of picking out which ones we buy. We bought Phenomenal as a three month old pup and had him reared. We weren’t going to give the name Phenomenal to a dog that we didn’t think could do it.”
“When Ultimatum won at Sandown he was our first city winner together, and the passion and dream kept growing from there. We had the dream to win a group one race together. Serg owned Godsend on his own and I went along for the ride, which sparked my interest even more, especially when it won a group race. We currently have Whata Good Size, Black Magic Opal, Phenomenal and a couple of others that will hopefully start their careers very soon with the Thompson kennel. We also had Powerhouse, but we sold him to Western Australia.”
Although the focus tends to shift towards Melbourne Cup winner Black Magic Opal, the future for Phenomenal looks very bright. “There might be a staying career ahead for Phenomenal, he’s looking that way. Sandown was his first 595 and yesterday he was strong to the line over the 570. He hasn’t had a run over the 650 or 700 yet, but we are targeting the Sale Cup. It’s probably a little bit up in the air whether he will stay, but he certainly has a strong motor.”
“We never had any doubt about how quick Phenomenal is. He did show it right at the start of his career in the Vic Breeders, but he hurt himself in the final and had a couple of months between runs. He then had a few niggles and it’s taken until recently for him to put it all together. He is still learning to race and get’s better every time he steps out, he really has found his feet beautifully. I would have loved to have seen him in the shootout.”
Although the Buccilli’s have fulfilled their dream of winning a group one, there are potentially plenty more group races in store for the duo. “The excitement when Black Magic Opal crossed the line in the Melbourne Cup was unbelievable, just a massive adrenalin rush. It was amazing that the dream Serg and I started sometime ago was fulfilled. What made it even more special to us was that we were able to enjoy the occasion with Jason and Seona, who own him with us. We are really looking forward to the coming month, with Black Magic Opal heading to the Hobart 1000 and Phenomenal on his way to Sale.”
With Phenomenal living up to his name, there might be more adrenalin rushes in story for the Buccilli’s, as he closes in on potential group race glory.
Phenomenal’s Horsham 570m Track Record Replay