Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Mount Gambier trainer Ken Gillespie was the first to admit that he had just about given up on his talented chaser Faster Bolt, at one time the fastest-ever 400 metre maiden winner at Tara Raceway with a time of 22.98 seconds.
In fact, the white and fawn dog had been away from the track for such a time that he had been required to run a satisfactory trial – as it turned out, a heartening 23.01 seconds for the 400 metre journey on July 14 – before he could return to racing.
Faster Bolt’s last race start had actually been back at the beginning of the year, Gillespie saying that illness and injury had plagued the dog since that run and he had pretty well resigned himself to the fact that the fastest dog he had ever been associated with probably wouldn’t race again.
“But more recently he had started to trial well again and after his satisfactory trial I have to admit that I did get a little bit excited at the prospect of getting him back on the race track again especially as he has raced on only 30 occasions,” he said.
At his first race start in seven months, Faster Bolt went down by 1¾ lengths to Verev over 400 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday, July 28. However, a week later it was a totally different story.
Away slowly from box five in the Produce Store Stake (400 m), Faster Bolt quickly proceeded to give his grade five opposition windburn as he swept around the field in the back straight before running out a five length winner over Swift Limes in 22.82 seconds.
The time was quick – only a half-length outside Cryer’s Ricky’s track record of 22.78 seconds which had been run on February 19, 2016.
By Milldean Panther out of Galactic Rumball, Faster Bolt was bred at Moorak by part-owner Robert Chuck who also sold shares in the dog at eight months of age to Gillespie, Jack Peacock and Steve Bartholomew jnr.
A winner of 11 races at Mount Gambier, Ballarat, Warrnambool, Warragul and Horsham, Faster Bolt is a brother to 2018 Summer Classic winner Galactic Panther and a half-brother to Galactic Athena, winner of this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup.
And part-owner Peacock probably summed it up best as he and Gillespie headed back towards the kennel house after the race with Faster Bolt: “Great training effort, Kenny.”