Darren Pattinson (pictured with a very relaxed Blazin’ Bomber) will be striving to complete a remarkable sporting transformation from Test cricketer to Group 1-winning greyhound trainer in Saturday night’s Australian Cup.
Pattinson, who played one Test match for England in 2008, and is the brother of injury-plagued Australian paceman James, wasted precious little time making his mark after taking up greyhound training in mid-2013, largely through the deeds of Australian Cup finalist Blazin’ Bomber.
“Anything you do you want to do the best you can,” Pattinson said.
“It’s a massive thrill to have a runner in the Australian Cup. It’s the second biggest race we have and it’s great to have a dog that’s first of all good enough to be in it and hopefully good enough to win it.
“Greyhound racing gives me the same thrill as when I was playing cricket. I love it. The big difference is that in cricket your fate is in your own hands, whereas with the greyhounds your work is done when it comes to race night. You put them in the box and it’s up to them.”
Racing’s Holy Grail – a Group 1 victory – has proven frustratingly elusive for Pattinson and Blazin’ Bomber over the last 18 months but it certainly hasn’t been for want of trying.
Blazin’ Bomber will make his seventh appearance on the Group 1 stage on Saturday, with his best effort to date a second placing in the Rookie Rebel invitational on the opening night of the Australian Cup Carnival.
WATCH: Blazin’ Bomber finish second in the Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) two weeks ago at The Meadows from box two.
“He’s been fantastic. He keeps getting into these finals and it would be the icing on the cake if he could win one,” Pattinson said.
“He had box one in his heat but unfortunately he’s drawn five for the final. It was funny because he drew the five and then they did a redraw and he drew five the second time as well, so he was meant to have five. It is what it is. The seas might part for him but what will be will be.
“I think he probably deserves to win a Group 1 but you don’t have a right to win one and so far he hasn’t been able to. Hopefully this might be the one but if not we’ll just take it in our stride and go on to the next one.”
WATCH: James Van de Maat and Elly wicks preview the 2017 Group 1 Australian Cup.
WATCH: James Van de Maat in full voice throughout his stirring phantom call of Saturday night’s 2017 Group 1 Sky Racing Australian Cup.