Friday night’s TAB Million Dollar Chase isn’t just about the lure of the staggering winner’s purse for Bob Cummings, proud owner/breeder of Victorian sensation Shima Shine, the baby of the star-studded field.
Cummings and long-time racing partner Dave Gleeson are ecstatic to see their home-grown product Shima Shine, brilliant winner of nine of his 11 starts, competing for the world’s richest greyhound racing purse, still a month shy of his second birthday.
“It’s not so much about racing for a million dollars – although that would be very nice – but it’s having a dog that we bred good enough to be in a race like this,” said Cummings.
“I’m just hoping the dog does himself justice. He’s got the ability to win it.”
Shima Shine, which is trained by Andrea Dailly, is continuing a proud tradition for Cummings and Gleeson, whose Davrob Syndicate have raced the likes of Group winners Shimaguni, Shima Bar and Shima Song over the last decade.
He’s bred in the purple, being a son of the late, great Barcia Bale and Shima Song, a daughter of Shimaguni that was a two-time winner at Group 2 level of the Geelong Cup and McKenna Memorial.
“Ever since I moved to Koo Wee Rup in 2000 we’ve done pretty well and each litter has improved the line,” Cummings explained.
“Before that David and I weren’t able to rear the pups ourselves because neither of us had land and doing it ourselves has made all the difference.
“We’re both in our 70s and for us to get a dog like Shima Shine at this stage of our lives is a great thrill.”
“We’re very hands-on; we really look after the dogs and feed them properly of course.
“The dogs are on my property, so I do a lot of the work, but David is here every second day and is a great help.
“I suppose David and I can pat ourselves on the back for doing a good job and the breeding has done the rest.”
Shima Shine wasted absolutely no time making an impression, reeling off four straight victories to open his career and breaking the Ballarat 450m track record (24.75sec) at just his seventh start.
After taking out the Bulli Regional Final of the Million Dollar Chase, defeating the likes of Pindari Express, Premium Share, Whiskey Riot and Dyna Patty, Shima Shine started $2.30 favourite from box eight in last Friday’s fourth semi-final.
Carving across to lead at the first turn, Shima Shine was a dominant 29.60sec winner, improving his perfect Wentworth Park record to two from two, and after drawing box six for the $1,000,000 to-the-winner final he’s a $6.50 chance with TAB.
“I’m hoping for a place and that he gets a clear run,” Cummings said.
“If he gets a clear run he’s a chance of winning it. He’s improved every run there and he’ll need to improve again this week.
“I’m quite rapt for David because he’s been in greyhounds a lot longer than I have. But we’re both in our 70s and for us to get a dog like Shima Shine at this stage of our lives is a great thrill.
“We don’t have a lot of input into where he races – we leave that to the Daillys – but with David having been a Sandown director for 30 years I’m pretty sure the Melbourne Cup will be on the cards!”
WATCH: Shima Shine (8) overcomes early interference before charging to victory in his Million Dollar Chase Semi last Friday night in 29.60sec.