Wednesday, March 14, 2018
When leading local trainer Tracie Price, of Compton, heads to the 512 metre starting boxes for this year’s Group Listed $22,000 Mount Gambier Cup on Sunday afternoon it will be with a greyhound that, all things being equal, probably shouldn’t even be racing.
The dog in question is a big black son of Bekim Bale and Lucy’s Moment called Blazing Moment who kicked off his racing career some 18 months ago with a win at Tara Raceway over 400 metres in a quick 23.18 seconds before following up with another win 10 days later over 515 metres at Angle Park.
It was a debut that only confirmed Price’s early opinion of the dog and also that of a breaking-in report that reckoned he would win anywhere – pretty well spot-on as it turned out.
Fast forward 12 months and Blazing Moment found himself in Darwin for the Group 3 Darwin Cup (537 m) after a stint of racing in WA where he was successful at Cannington and Mandurah for trainer Krystal Shinners.
A luckless sixth in the Darwin Cup final, Blazing Moment returned to WA, with Price shortly after receiving a call that all was not well with the dog.
“It turned out he had a blocked bowel and gall bladder with the following 24 hours being crucial,” he said. “Fortunately, though, somehow he pulled through.”
Price and his wife Karen, along with fellow owners Milla Laddrak and John Dargue, opted to roll the dice with Blazing Moment, bringing him home in the forlorn hope that one day he might possibly return to the track.
“It was a tribute to his resolve that by the end of last year he was not only back on the track but that he won at his first run back over 400 metres at Tara Raceway,” Price said.
And by the time the cup heats came around last Sunday he had recently won at Angle Park and also broken 30 seconds at Tara Raceway, suggesting a bold showing in the third heat, especially after drawing box one.
Blazing Moment was away well, chasing early leader Xtreme Caution until off the back where he railed through before running out a 1¾ length winner in 29.84 seconds.
“I don’t believe he’s lost anything,” a delighted Price said after the race and seemingly not too concerned that the dog later drew box six in the final.
The last Mount Gambier Cup finalist for the 54-year-old trainer was in 2016 with Grimsby Girl, seventh behind Mojito Mayhem, and currently keeping a watchful eye on her four-week-old litter by Spring Gun.
Involved in greyhound racing since 1986 and based in Mount Gambier for 10 years, Price is yet to win the cup – third with Suzy’s Moment behind Banger Harvey in 2011 the closest he’s come.
Suzy’s Moment was by Solve The Puzzle out of Barely A Moment who traced back to prolific producer Sobbing Sal while Blazing Moment’s grand-dam is Barely A Moment.
Price also provided two finalists – Miss Bongoola and Panda Hand – in the 2002 cup won by Penny Melody.
So come Sunday and it will be Team Price – Karen Price, Steve Patzel, Elisha Antunov, Ben Price, Kerry Hawker, and most certainly more – cheering on one of the kennel favourites who overcame the odds to make it into the final of the richest race ever run at Tara Raceway.