The Carisbrook Redbacks, who play in the Maryborough Castlemaine football league, will be celebrating long and hard if Big Bazza ‘kicks a goal’ at Shepparton on Saturday night.
Named after controversial former AFL player and radio commentator Barry Hall, Big Bazza has resurrected his race career after fracturing a stopper bone in May last year.
His young trainer, Dylan Bate, 23 – who is employed as a casual in retail sales – has shown the patience of Jobe in getting him back on the racetrack.
“The veterinary prognosis wasn’t good,” Bate said. “But time is a great healer.”
And now Big Bazza is chasing his fifth successive win after notching four in a row at Healesville.
“It was a deliberate plan to place him at Healesville… I wanted to see how he’d pull up before racing on the circle,” Bate said. “But he’s more than just a straight track specialist.”
“He’s a chance if he jumps like he has at Healesville, but I think Benchester (Box 1) is the one to beat,” Bate added.
Greyhound racing is a family affair in the Bate household at Taylors Hill.
“Dad (Robert) and I share eight kennels, while mum (Michelle) and younger brother (Kyle) also assist with the training duties,” Bate said.
“We bought our first pup in 2013, who raced as Ladies Kay and only won one race.”
Owned by the CB Redbacks Syndicate, which is managed by player Liam Mottram, Big Bazza has won 13 races from 35 starts.
“I met Liam while playing for Carisbrook… We both shared a keen interest in greyhound racing and decided we would buy a dog together one day,” Bate said.
“At the time, a mate of mine in New South Wales, Shane Thornton, was training a handy sprinter named Wiradjuri Stand… She had a litter of pups not long after she finished racing, so we purchased a black pup we nicknamed “Bazza”. When the time came for naming him, we named him Big Bazza after the AFL player Barry Hall.”
Big Bazza (Box 6) will contest Race 10 and is quoted at $4.00.
WATCH: Big Bazza (7) make it four on the trot at Healesville.