Glenn Pask doesn’t get emotional very often but he admits to shedding a tear when home-bred stayer Ring The Bell claimed an historic victory in the Group 1 Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar in Auckland last Sunday.
“It was unbelievable,” Pask said after returning triumphantly from New Zealand.
“I said to Gerry (O’Keeffe, Ring The Bell’s trainer and Glenn’s father-in-law) that to go over to New Zealand and win one of their biggest races was incredible. It’s hard enough to win a race at home.
“Gerry had the Silver Collar in mind for six or seven months but then Ring The Bell got hurt at the start of the year and we thought this isn’t going to happen. But just before he went over to New Zealand he trialled about half a length outside his Warragul record and we knew he was right.”
Ring The Bell’s runaway Trans-Tasman triumph continued the fairy tale success the Four Frothys Syndicate, which includes Glenn, his brother Grant and close friend Jamie Baxter, have enjoyed with the sensational Kinloch Brae – Absolute Stunna litter, which is remarkably their first foray into breeding.
“I’ve had a lot of greyhounds before but this is the first litter we bred,” Pask explained proudly.
“I bought Absolute Stunna as a pup and reared her and her brother Striking Blaze. She only had 11 starts. She was okay but she was well-bred so we decided to breed a litter with her and the rest is history!
“I reared the litter myself and put a lot of work into them. They were on the lead since they were three months old and I walked them every day.”
Photo credits Peter Fenemor.
The Silver Collar was Ring The Bell’s second Group 1 success, having won the 2016 National Distance Championship, while the other stars of the litter are powerhouse sprinter Blazin’ Bomber and last year’s surprise Sandown Cup heroine Bells Are Ringin.
“It’s been an unbelievable ride,” Pask said.
“You’ve got to pinch yourself every now and again. The litter would’ve won close to $900,000 now and we’ve travelled around Australia with them, we’ve been to Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, and now to New Zealand. We’ve had a lot of fun, met a lot of people and had a bit of success!
“Blazin’ Bomber has been in a lot of Group 1 finals but he hasn’t had much luck with box draws. He did win the (Group 3) Speed Star at Sandown in 29.09. He’s just coming back from injury and isn’t too far away. We’re going to stand him at stud because we’ve had a fair bit of interest.
“It’s funny because when Blazin’ Bomber and Ring The Bell were pups they used to fight a lot. They didn’t like each other at all and there were a few trips to the vet, so I’m glad they’re not racing against each other!
“Bells Are Ringin, which won the Sandown Cup last year at 40/1, had a litter of four, two boys and two girls, to Banjo Boy about six weeks ago.
“Absolute Stunna’s second litter to Ballymac Vic broke in well and have started to trial. She went back to Kinloch Brae for her third litter and they’re about six months old. If she comes on season again this year we’d like to breed one more litter, which will be to Black Magic Opal, and if not she’ll live a life of luxury.
“We’ve had Absolute Stunna since she was three months old and she’s part of the family. I’ve got three young daughters and they named her Dora after Dora The Explorer. She actually sleeps in one of my daughter’s bedrooms.”
Ring The Bell has remained in New Zealand to take aim at another Group 1 title in the heats of the NZ Stayers Cup at Christchurch on June 22.