Thursday, December 6, 2018
When Faster Bolt lined up for the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 metres) at last Friday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway it had been for the first time at that track in 14 months.
Back in early October last year, Faster Bolt, raced by Robert Chuck, Jack Peacock, Steve Bartholomew jr. and Ken Gillespie, and trained by the latter, had impressed at only his second start with a 400 metre win in 22.98 seconds – at the time the fastest maiden win recorded at the track.
In fact, so impressive was the win that Gillespie and his cohorts quickly got the fawn and white son of Milldean Panther and Galactic Rumball over to Steve Elsum’s Camperdown kennels, hoping to cash in on some of the bigger stakemoney on offer in Victoria.
All told, Faster Bolt won seven races on Victorian provincial tracks, his last win being in February at Warrnambool, before finding his way back to Gillespie’s Mount Gambier kennels in September.
“He just seemed to lose all form and confidence,” Gillespie said. “So we decided to bring him home, give him a good freshen-up and then see how he went at Tara Raceway.”
Faster Bolt was originally a reserve for the Friday meeting but as luck would have it he gained a start from box two – his luck running out, though, in the short-course event when he found early trouble and eventually ran third.
However, it was a different story a couple of days’ later when he jumped fairly from box one in Sunday’s JB Irrigation Stake (400 m) before railing through on Fairground down the back and running away to a 4¾ length win in 23.19 seconds.
And it was a delighted trainer who, after the win, recalled how the long-time group of owners came to purchase Faster Bolt, a litter brother to Galactic Panther, this year’s Peter Rocket Summer Classic winner and third placegetter in the Mount Gambier Cup.
“Chucky had bred the dog but by eight months of age he was sorely testing his owner-breeder’s patience – refusing to walk on a lead, refusing to have his nails cut – you know, all the things that some young greyhounds get up to.
“Chucky was really struggling with him so in the end we offered to buy the dog and take him off his hands. Fair enough, he did let him go pretty cheaply but he did also hedge his bets a bit by retaining a share in the pup that would later race as Faster Bolt.”
Galactic Rumball’s second – and final – litter was whelped in August 2017 and is by Paddy Whacker.