There is something about Burn One Down (pictured with myself) that has given me yet another reason to love the sport that has been such a huge part of my life for more than 16 years.
His return to racing last Thursday night at Sandown Park in the Group Three Racecallers was nothing short of remarkable. In true Burn One Down style his 37kg frame was last out of boxes but he didn’t disappoint, rounding up a field of group winners to win by 0.91 lengths.
And what a field it was; Group One Australian Cup (525m), Hume Cup (600m) and Rookie Rebel (600m) winner Fanta Bale, Group One Sale Cup (650m), Harrison-Dawson (515m) and Topgun (525m) winner Dundee Osprey and Group Two Geelong Cup (460m) winner Shima Song were among the tough competition over the middle distance.
Those three greyhounds have amassed an astonishing $1,227,460 in prize money between them so to run them down after two months on the sidelines is incredible in anybody’s book.WATCH: Burn One Down in his comeback win in the Group Three Racecallers from box two.
There is no doubt that every time Burn One Down takes to the track, he is further cementing himself as a significant part of greyhound racing history.
I have had a few favourites along the way including West Australian Miata, who is high on my list. The crowds she was able to pull everywhere she raced was breathtaking. But Burn One Down’s signature come-from-behind racing style makes every win a special one.
We as greyhound racing enthusiasts love an underdog, and although Burn One Down has only once jumped in double figure odds, there are always question marks as to whether he can continually run down these talented fields because it is such a difficult task.
40 starts into Burn One Down’s career he has won 24 races and counting, including victories in the Group One Zoom Top (725m) by nine lengths, the Group Two Topgun Stayers (725m), the Group Three Topcat Video Cup (725m) and the Group Three Racecallers (595m).
But his two handicap victories made everyone stop and stare. There wasn’t really a conversation around those two Saturday night meetings at The Meadows that didn’t revolve around Burn One Down’s five and six metre handicap wins.WATCH: Burn One Down in one of his handicap wins at The Meadows from box one.
We only have to look at horse racing to see how the stunning success of Winx and Black Caviar has seen punters marvel and crowds flock to the track and I can’t see any reason why Burn One Down should not have a similar hero status in greyhound racing.
I struggle to pick just one favourite race of Burn One Down’s, even his maiden victory at Sandown on a Sunday was impressive to watch.
But on Thursday night Burn One Down will compete in a heat of Australia’s richest staying race for greyhounds, the RSN Sandown Cup. His trainers Seona and Jason Thompson were thankful he pulled up sound following his first start back from a hock injury he sustained in the Group One Australian Super Stayers at The Meadows.
After the nod of approval from one of the best greyhound vets in the land Barry Heywood, Burn One Down is set to have another crack at Group One glory.
Like some of the great greyhounds I have been privileged to watch live, Burn One Down is right up there as one of my favourite athletes. And when the time comes, even if it is 10 years from now, I will take great pride in telling my children about his achievements.
But for now, I will continue to watch Burn One Down reach legendary status one heart-stopping victory at a time and I would urge anyone to get to a track and make sure you watch this stunning dog make history before your very eyes.