The black dog, currently $1.95 with Bet 365, will be having his first start over the 460-metre trip when he exits box five in race six, however he has previously clocked a speedy 22.54 at the track over the 400-metre sprint.
Over 1000 kilometres north of Geelong, the well-bred youngster will be cheered on by hobbyist Marian Anderson, who owns the son of Lochinvar Marlow and Hail Queenie with her father, Charlie Campbell. The pair bought Gracas King, affectionately known as Tom, after Charlie spotted something special in his breeding. Bred by Noel and Fay Trowbridge, his mother was a winner of eight races with a scorching 22.39 personal best at The Gardens.
“My dad purchased him after he saw his mother racing at The Gardens a few years ago,” Anderson said.
“He really liked her and he saw her coming out of the vet one day, not even knowing the people that owned her, and asked them what they were going to do with her. When they said that they would be breeding with her he told them he wanted one of her pups.
“He ordered the pup and then he let me chose it, as he always does, and he gave me half a share in him so that I would look after him and rear him at my house.”
Gracas King started five times for Anderson and her husband Dennis in NSW for three wins and a second before the decision was made to send him south to Victoria.
“We had him and we trained him in the beginning. He has always been a good pup, a keen chaser and he knew what he was doing from the start.
“I always thought he was going to be a good dog and then he started to show it. When it got to that stage we started to think that he was probably a bit better than what we were as trainers, so we decided to send him to Melbourne because there are more opportunities down there.
“We were lucky enough that Jason Thompson said that he would put him in his kennel, which was pretty exciting.”
Named after Anderson’s nieces Grace, Cassidy and Kingsley, Gracas King has now won six from seven under the tutelage of Thompson and nine from 12 overall.
Anderson said she has no regrets on sending him interstate, despite now missing out on having him in her own kennels.
“It wasn’t a hard decision to make to send him down there. A while ago I had another dog called Ultimate Dust Up and I lost him in an accident at home when he was supposed to go down to Jason. I had the plane ticket and everything booked, but he never made it there,” Anderson said.
“I had that in my mind this time around. I just wanted to get him to Jason before anything happened.
“I was a little bit nervous just because I was worried that he would get down there and he wouldn’t be as good as we thought he was, but he has proved himself so I am quite happy about that.”
Anderson said the best part about racing Gracas King is the fact that she gets to spend time with her dad.
“It is good because it is something that dad and I can do together. It is a nice father and daughter thing, as you get older it becomes harder to do something with your dad.
“Dad had a fall twelve months ago and broke his hip and that changed things – it has made everything a lot harder for him and now the dogs are the one thing he lives for, he loves the dogs.
“The dogs are all he thinks about, he will be sitting around and just start talking about Tom, and they have really kept him going. I don’t know where he would be without them.”
Gracas King is engaged in race six at Geelong on Friday night which will jump at 8:48pm.