Friday, January 31, 2020
It all started a year ago, Brendan Bunworth back in greyhounds after a 4½-year hiatus and winning his first race this time around in leisurely fashion at Tara Raceway with his only dog Jimary Siesta.
However, fast forward 12 months and the Penshurst-based Bunworth and his wife Kayla now have six greyhounds in work. Things heated up even more back in December, though – Jimary Siesta whelped a litter of 10 (four dogs and six bitches) to Lightning Frank.
Bunworth had always done well with his greyhounds – his last winner prior to the extended break being with his handy chaser Sir Lenny who defeated Striking Viking in September 2014.
And this time around the husband and wife team trained 16 winners at Tara Raceway in 2019 before a good start to this year which resulted in six winners for the month, ending with a double to Call Me Silk and Ashby Mayhem – both giveaways – at yesterday’s time-graded meeting.
Bunworth was the first to admit that Call Me Silk’s all the way win in a respectable 23.45 seconds in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 metres) took him by surprise.
“To be honest, I was starting to have a few doubts about her after she’d been looking to struggle over the 400 metre journey,” said Bunworth, who took over the training of the black bitch in early January.
“But they never looked like catching her, the 3½ length win quite emphatic, while the time stacked up pretty well with the other 400 metre races on the day.”
By Black Bear Lee, a winner of 15 races at Wentworth Park and close to $200,000 in stakemoney, Call Me Silk is out of Call Me Swift, successful on 12 occasions on Victorian provincial tracks, including running sub-24 seconds over 425 metres at Bendigo.
Ashby Mayhem ran right up to her breeding (Barcia Bale x Glass Roof) when leading all the way for a 9½ length win over Akuma Fireball in a smart 29.82 seconds in the Metal Worx Stake (512 m).
So far, the only member of the litter to have won, the April 2018 whelping was taken over by Bunworth in October last year, having now won three races at Tara Raceway after she was considered to be below par from a Victorian racing point of view.
Bunworth is now keen to take on the local’s top youngsters with Ashby Mayhem at Tara Raceway in the forthcoming Summer Classic (512 m), for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2018.
“There’s some smart youngsters going around Tara Raceway at the moment but you only get one crack at this type of race,” he said. “Besides, judging by her effort today I’m confident that she’ll give a good account of herself in the heats on Sunday, February 16.”