Run Baba Run – named after a former star American greyhound – is forging her own racetrack reputation in the land down under.
But on Friday night at Wentworth Park, she faces her toughest assignment in the $75,000-to-the-winner Group 1 National Futurity (520m). She will exit from box two and is quoted at $11.00 on TAB Fixed Odds betting.
And it’s also her owner-trainer-breeder Jeff Galea’s biggest moment in the sport. Run Baba Run is the 53-year-old’s first group race finalist.
Run Baba Run received her sobriquet from Galea’s wife Tess, who ‘looked up’ a list of former topliners in the US. Call it fate, but some of Run Baba Run’s class – the US version – has metaphorically ‘rubbed off’ on Run Baba Run – Oz style.
Galea said Run Baba Run’s heat win last week from box one didn’t surprise him, considering the time she ran (30.25sec).
WATCH: Run Baba Run (1) defeat Victorian counterpart Philadelphia Pip (2) in a National Futurity heat.
“She’s the type that needs three or four looks at a track before showing her best… I think she’s got improvement in her for the final, but I don’t think she’s up to winning it,” Galea said.
However, Galea says she’s probably going to be up there rounding the first turn. “She’ll hug the rail… And, with a bit of luck, she could fill a place,” he said. “That’s why we took her up there, she’s normally quick out of the boxes.”
A hobby trainer and auto-electrician by trade, Galea paid homage to his right-hand man – son Ryan, 28, who builds commercial coolrooms for a living.
“It’s a great feeling to own, train and breed any greyhound let alone a Group 1 finalist, but I’m most happy for my son… He’s been in the sport since he could walk,” Galea said.
Galea, a jack-of-all trades who also specialises in manufacturing dog transporters for industry participants, added that “we’re just excited to be in the final”.
Whelped in March 2018, Run Baba Run (Fernando Bale x Little Pookie) only commenced her career in late September last year. She has notched five wins (with five seconds and five thirds) from 21 starts. Her stakes total $23,220.
Her dam, Little Pookie (Cosmic Rumble x Liberty Speed), was as tough as teak racing on 170 occasions for 16 wins, 26 seconds and 24 thirds. Her career stretched from July 2014 to April 2019.
Galea has bred three litters from Little Pookie. The first, a litter of seven by Sisco Rage, all won races. Then followed Run Baba Run’s litter, of which eight of the nine have been successful.
Little Pookie is heavily in pup to Mepunga Blazer, due on January 28.