Bendigo owner Gary Webb’s selfless decision to send classy youngster Flying Bazza to high profile NSW trainer Jason Mackay could reap the richest reward in the greyhound racing world in Friday night’s TAB Million Dollar Chase.
“It’s really exciting to think you’re one of eight in a million dollar race,” Webb said.
“I’ve been in greyhound racing for about 30 years and I’ve never had a Group dog before so to be in elite company in a race like this is an unbelievable feeling.
“The concept that GRNSW has come up with the Million Dollar Chase is incredible and if something does happen to go right for us on Friday night it would be something you can only dream of.”
Webb purchased Flying Bazza, a son of Barcia Bale and Mepunga Mia, off prolific Victorian breeder Barry Smith, and trained him for his first four starts.
He then offered Flying Bazza to Group 1 specialist Jason Mackay and the result has been six wins from 10 starts and qualification for a life-changing crack at the second staging of the Million Dollar Chase at Sydney’s Wentworth Park.
“I bought a dog off one of the best breeders in Victoria and then sent him to one of the best trainers in NSW,” quipped Webb, who races Flying Bazza in partnership with Robert Moncrieff in the Gar Bob Syndicate.
“And now the cake is starting to cook!
“I bought him off Barry at three months of age and reared him myself. I also bought his sister, Just Lovin’ It, which has won five from 11.
“Jason (Mackay) took him to Wentworth Park and he went post-to-post faster than anything he has put around there.”
“I knew Flying Bazza was something pretty special and I had a bitch called Flying Apollo up with Jason (Mackay) at the time and I asked Jason to have a look at Flying Bazza.
“The dog wasn’t fast enough early for down here in Victoria and I told Jason he had untapped potential and was very, very strong.
“About two weeks after he went to NSW, Jason rang me and said we’ve got something that should make Group level. Then Jason took him to Wentworth Park and he went post-to-post faster than anything Jason has put around there.
“Whatever happens on Friday night, Jason says the best of him is yet to come and at his age and amount of starts he’s doing a phenomenal job.”
After winning the Maitland Regional MDC Final, Flying Bazza started $2.20 favourite from box one in the last of eight semi-finals held last Friday night.
There were a few anxious moments when Flying Bazza missed the start but he railed into second rounding the first bend and hit the front turning for home, racing clear in 29.78s to claim his seventh win from 14 starts.
Flying Bazza completed a semi-final double with ex-Victorians for Mackay, who was also successful with Get It Gizmo, which clocked a best of night 29.45s.
“I thought he had a good chance but then he didn’t begin real well and my heart was in my mouth down the back straight when he tried to cross too early and got galloped on. But then he powered away – that’s just him.”
After drawing box three for the hugely anticipated MDC Final, Flying Bazza is a $17 outsider with TAB: however that hasn’t dimmed Webb’s enthusiasm.
“We think we’ve got a place chance at least,” said Webb.
“The four (Pindari Express) comes out and stays in the middle of the track so we’re hoping he can hold out the rest of the outside dogs and we can get onto the fence behind Good Odds Harada (box 2).
“If he’s close enough he’s got a powerful enough sprint to put us in the finish.”
PHOTO: Flying Bazza wins his MDC semi-final. Photo courtesy The Greyhound Recorder.