Dave and Rose Geall only breed one litter each year but numbers certainly aren’t everything with the Lara couple just one step away from snaring one of the most coveted trophies in the greyhound racing world – the Golden Easter Egg.
The Gealls are hoping to celebrate their first Group 1 victory on Saturday night with homebred star Up Hill Jill (pictured, photo credits Paul Munt), favourite for the $250,000 to-the-winner Easter Egg after winning her semi-final in a scorching 29.63sec and drawing ideally in box two.WATCH: Up Hill Jill jump from box two and win her semi-final.
“It’s very exciting,” Dave Geall said.
“There’s a real buzz about the race and as we’re getting closer every day you know it’s not a normal week.
“Up Hill Jill’s the fastest semi-final winner and she’s drawn to have a chance. We’ve been lucky to have been in a number of Group races over the years but this is the biggest race we’ve ever been in. I’d be rapt to run a place but whatever happens I’ll never forget that we made a Golden Easter Egg. I’ll never forget it.”
Making Up Hill Jill’s quest to add her name to the star-studded Easter Egg honour roll even more satisfying for the Gealls is that they trained her mother Where’s Demonica and have subsequently enjoyed remarkable success with the daughter of champion sire Where’s Pedro in the breeding barn.
“My wife, Rose, part-owned Where’s Demonica and we raced her from day one,” Dave explained.
“She was very fast and very strong. She won 23 races and made the WA Oaks Final but she drew poorly, which I’ve found usually brings you undone!
“Where’s Demonica’s first litter, to Westmead Osprey, was terrific. Eight went to the breakers and all eight won races. One called Nayla Swift was almost as good as Up Hill Jill. There were only two pups in Where’s Demonica’s second litter to Milldean Panther and one dog called Bigshow Jethro won five races.
“There were eight pups in the Premier Fantasy litter, including Up Hill Jill, and all eight have won, so Where’s Demonica has had 18 pups to race and 17 of them have won.
“Where’s Demonica has had a fourth litter to Fernando Bale and they’re about 12 months old. There was six in the litter and we’re very excited about them. We all know what a superstar Fernando Bale was and there’s no reason why these pups shouldn’t have plenty of pace.”
The Gealls are justifiably proud of their breeding success with limited numbers, which is underlined by the impressive strike rate of Where’s Demonica’s progeny.
“We strive to get every dog to the racetrack and get every dog to win a race. That’s our aim and we really try hard to achieve it.”
Victorian-trained sprinters have won the past seven editions of the Easter Egg and numbers suggest the dominance will continue, with Up Hill Jill one of five Victorians contesting NSW’s richest race, being joined by arch rival Striker Light, Aqua Cheetah, Big Flood and Lucky Chap.
Three Victorians will line up in the second Group 1 event to be held at Wentworth Park on Saturday night, the Association Cup, favourite Trip To Eden, Allen Lottery and Obi Kenobi.