Victory in Saturday night’s Group 1 Temlee (525m) will see superstar NSW sprinter Good Odds Harada become the greyhound racing world’s greatest stakes winner.
Good Odds Harada famously won the second edition of the Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park last October and he heads into the invitation-only Temlee having banked an incredible $1,279,135 in prizemoney.
That tally places him third on the all-time list and if he can capture the Temlee’s winner’s purse of $100,000 it will catapult him past Victorian champions Fanta Bale ($1,365,175) and Fernando Bale ($1,299,370) into top spot.
“That would look good on his resume,” quipped veteran Sydney trainer Frank Hurst, who races Good Odds Harada in partnership with wife Tracey.
Good Odds Harada has been plagued by poor draws in his previous visits to Melbourne and is yet to win in four assignments at The Meadows and Sandown, all in elite company.
The son of champion sire Collison finished fourth in the Group 1 Topgun (box 6), third in the Group 3 Shootout (box 5), second in a Melbourne Cup heat (box 8) and second in a Maturity Classic heat (box 7).
This has been a source of great frustration for Hurst but he’s had an overdue change of fortune with Good Odds Harada drawing box two for the Temlee, with TAB marking him on the third line of betting at $4.60.
“He hasn’t drawn box two since the Million Dollar Chase!” said Hurst.
“People have said that he hasn’t brought his Sydney form to Melbourne but stick him in box one or box two and you’ll see a different dog.
“He’s trialling as quick as he’s ever trialled and he can match it with any dog in Australia on his night. He’s proven that.
“We haven’t dodged anything – he’s been everywhere – and he’s beaten them all at one stage of his career or another.”
Good Odds Harada will be striving to break his Melbourne hoodoo against the best sprinters in the land after finishing unplaced as favourite in the Bathurst Cup last Friday, where box six brought him undone.
“You can’t help bad luck,” Hurst offered.
“All he needs is a bit of luck on Saturday night, like they all do.”
While Good Odds Harada’s brilliant litter brother Feral Franky was recently retired, Hurst is in no hurry to end the ride of his greyhound racing life, although he says he’s highly unlikely to return to The Meadows on Saturday week for the Australian Cup heats.
“A three-week series is too much at this stage,” Hurst explained.
“I’d say Saturday night will be his last run before the Easter Egg. This dog has been up for 14 months, which is a very long time, so we’ll probably give him a couple of weeks off.
“He’ll go to stud eventually and winning the Temlee would be great for his stud career. But if we wanted a stud dog we would have retired him after the Million Dollar Chase.
“We’re having the time of our lives!”