Big Flood’s return to the track on Sunday in the Bendigo Cup heats was exactly that – big.
Stopping the clock in a best-of-the-night time of 23.64sec is impressive, but recording it first start back from six months on the sidelines was spectacular.
The son of Banjo Boy and Easy Baby’s last start was in a heat of the Group 1 Australian Cup at The Meadows in February where he finished second behind Chasin’ Crackers.
Big Flood damaged his ulna in the Australian Cup heat, but it was his big heart that saw him finish the race.
“He is a quality dog and he has a heart as big as himself,” Jason Thompson said.
The Thompsons aired on the side of caution with Big Flood, who originally damaged his ulna in a 2017 Warrnambool Cup heat, which saw him sidelined for four months following.
“It is frustrating having a dog like him sidelined for extended periods of time, but rest is the only means of recovery.”
To conclude the preparation for the Bendigo Cup heats trainer Seona Thompson nominated Big Flood for a 400-metre race at Warragul on 26 June. Big Flood drew box three but nine races into the meeting it was abandoned due to fog.
“His Bendigo Cup heat win was as good as any run he has ever put in. He was very underdone, and it wasn’t ideal for him to sit through the race meeting at Warragul without racing – but he has pulled up terrific and we couldn’t be happier with him,” Jason added.
Big Flood jumped from box five in his heat as the $2.60 favourite and won by three lengths over Rock Up Top.
Big Flood has drawn box seven in the Group 2 Triple M Bendigo Cup with the TAB lining him up as second favourite to four-time group winner Striker Light, who is drawn on his outside.
Seona Thompson is the only trainer with multiple greyhounds engaged in the Group 2 feature – talented former NSW chaser Aston Duke has drawn box three after winning his heat from box seven.
“I think Aston Duke’s Bendigo Cup heat win was his best run since coming back from Sydney, but the box draw in the final hasn’t done him any favours,” Thompson said.
“Striker Light is the danger in the race, especially from outside the track because Bernardo (box five) likes to shift towards the rails which should leave plenty of room Black Forge (box six), Big Flood (box seven), Striker Light (box eight).”
“Big Flood is our best chance, he is a five second dog at city tracks and he is strong, plus he is only going to be better for the run.”
Big Flood is a winner of 23 races from 36 starts. He has competed in two Victorian country cups including a fourth placing in the 2017 Ballarat Cup to recently retired champion Aston Dee Bee, and fifth in the 2017 Cranbourne Cup.