White Spyro and trainer Craig Davis aren’t among the big name combinations contesting Sunday’s TAB Bendigo Cup heats, however they’ll be entering the series with plenty of confidence.
A hobby trainer based on a house block in the Melbourne suburb of Altona Green, Davis has plenty of faith in his greyhound, who captured the $12,000 to-the-winner Wagga Gold Cup on 8 June.
The prize pool is even bigger in the Bendigo Cup, as from July all Victorian country cups will carry all-time high minimum prize money of $45,000 (1st), $13,000 (2nd) and $6,500 (3rd), plus a $10,000 bonus if the winner is GOBIS registered.
Further, all GOBIS registered finalists will also receive a $1,000 bonus regardless of where they finish in the race, but with eight heats on the card only the winners will qualify.
“There are seven other really good greyhounds in her (Bendigo Cup) heat, but her early pace is phenomenal and she has the fastest personal best time in the race (23.81sec), so I’m hoping she’ll go well,” said Davis, 32.
The Wagga Gold Cup isn’t high on the radar of a lot of Victorian trainers, but in Davis’ case it was in his sights as he owns an orange orchard in Murrabit, located near the Victorian border into New South Wales.
“Our orchard is about 180 acres in size. I have a team of workers (fruit pickers) up there and I travel there two or three times a week, depending on demand, to pick up oranges and bring them to a fruit company I supply for, which is based in Melbourne,” Davis said.
White Spyro (pictured), a winner of nine races from 26 starts, is one of two greyhounds trained by Davis, the other being Blue Mayhem, who has won three from 23, and while it would be convenient to feed his greyhounds oranges, they aren’t a part of their diets.
“No I don’t feed my dogs oranges,” he laughed. “Although believe it or not I do feed them Vitamin C tablets with their nightly meal. I believe Vitamin C is good for their eye sight, but whether or not it really makes any real difference, who knows?”
White Spyro will be up against the likes of household names Innocent Til, Nockabout Aussie and Hallelujah Henry in one of eight heats on Sunday, and only a win will guarantee her a place in the $45,000 to-the-winner final on Friday night, 4 July.
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