Nobody is more excited about getting a runner into the 2014 Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup (515m) than the owner of Cosmic Wise, Justin Wright.
Wright, who bred Cosmic Wise (Cosmic Chief – Wise Penny), flew across from his home state of WA for the Melbourne Cup heats, a trip planned long before he knew his greyhound had even gained a start in the series.
“I always wanted to experience a Melbourne Cup, so I booked my flights six weeks ago in the hope that Cosmic Wise might get a run in the heats. I thought she was a pretty good chance to get a start, and it is great to be here in person to see it,” Wright said.
What he didn’t anticipate all those weeks ago, however, was Cosmic Wise winning her way into the final of the world’s richest greyhound race, hence the reason his return flight back to Perth is scheduled for tomorrow.
Wright was quick on the phone to family back home shortly after Cosmic Wise’s 29.397sec heat win though, putting plans in place for a second trip to Melbourne for Friday night’s $600,000 final.
“Cosmic Wise ran in the (Group 1) Adelaide Cup (finishing 5th) earlier this year, which was great to be a part of, but to now have a Melbourne Cup finalist is unbelievable.”
“I’ve been breeding greyhounds for 20 years, and this the first time I’ll have a runner in the Melbourne Cup. I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he said.
For trainer Jeff Britton, who has been training greyhounds for a similar period, this is also a defining moment.
The Anakie conditioner has never had a runner in a Melbourne Cup, but on Friday night he’ll have two, after Star Recall also made it through.
In the case of Star Recall, Britton is acting as caretaker trainer during the Melbourne Cup series for his sister, powerhouse WA trainer, Linda Britton.
On the contrary, Jeff has trained Cosmic Wise during her entire 59 start career, in which she has netted 20 wins and 18 placings.
Despite her competitive record, which has seen her win 33 per cent of her races, Cosmic Wise is the rank outsider with TAB at $41.00 in the Melbourne Cup after drawing Box 5.
It will take a lot more than lengthy odds to keep Wright away from Sandown Park on Friday night, however, where he’ll win a share of the $420,000 first prize if Cosmic Wise can cause an upset.