Flying Bolt lived up to his name by being a genuine ‘bolter’ in Sunday’s Bendigo Cup heats, and now he is a one in eight chance of winning the $45,000 first prize in Friday night’s final.
Sunday’s shock win by Flying Bolt in a heat of the Bendigo Cup did more than just stymie a few punters.
The black and white greyhound paid $45.70 for the win, and in doing so gave trainer Andrew Mooney his first ever finalist in a group race.
Mooney, who has been training greyhounds for eight years, is ecstatic to have his first runner in a country cup final, and for good reason.
While there is no greater satisfaction in greyhound racing than breeding winners, Mooney has made a habit of successfully doing the next best thing, which is buying pups at a young age, then rearing, educating and, finally, training them to victory.
In Mooney’s case, what is more satisfying, is the fact he purchases pups at low cost before pouring excessive time and money into ensuring they have every chance of a successful racing career.
Flying Bolt, for instance, comes from humble beginnings. Bought by Mooney for just $1,100 at four months of age, he has gone on to win 14 races from 57 starts and won $26,000 in prize money.
This is one of several examples of Mooney’s shrewd shopping, which began when he moved to his property in Amherst in the late 2000s.
“I started training greyhounds eight years ago from a house block in Diamond Creek, before moving to where I am now, on to 13 acres in Amherst (located between Ballarat and Bendigo),” Mooney said.
“I have bought a handful of pups for anything from $750 to $1,200 each in that time, just because I have wanted some greyhounds to rear on my new property and eventually train. It has worked out really well because every one of them has made it to the track and won races.”
Rearing in small numbers has been a key component in Mooney’s success, which said him train 32 winners from five different greyhounds in 2013. One of those greyhounds, Mill House, even won the Bendigo Greyhound of the Year.
“I only paid $750 for Mill House when he was about six months old.”
“I also bought a race dog called Nowitzki for $1,200. I saw him advertised and I really liked the look of him. I’m glad I bought him because he has won $6,000 in prize money for me.”
“I’ve only ever bought one pup that cost a lot more than that, which was Cool Bay, who I paid $3,500 for. He is my only city winner so far – winning over 600m at The Meadows and earning $15,000 in prize money – so he was a very good investment as well,” Mooney said.
Mooney always has a small wager on his greyhounds, including $25 each way on Flying Bolt in Sunday’s win, and he isn’t ruling out his greyhound’s chances of winning the final.
“It’s a really even field and I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the eight greyhounds win.”
“That said I think that Luca Neveelk is the one to beat given he has won 10 straight, while White Spyro is also a big chance because of her brilliant early speed,” he said.
The Bendigo Cup is scheduled to run at 9:10pm.
*Pic courtesy Leo Dahl, Jade Media Photography
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