It’s a massive understatement to say that giveaway Short Leash has surpassed any expectations trainer Pieter Smoor had when he picked up the diminutive Bendigo specialist for nought.
Truth be told, she’s absolutely blown whatever modest hopes Smoor might have had out of the water.
On Saturday night, the speedy freebie will face the starter for the 86th time and she’s a huge chance to claim her 15th career victory in the eighth event over her pet 425m distance, which would take her prizemoney tally past the $20,000 mark.
“She was a giveaway from NSW,” said Pieter Smoor.
“She was a tiny little thing but I’ve been in the sport for a long time and I show a lot of patience. Most of the time I think it takes them a few runs to show you what they’ve got.
“We’re also happy to race in the country, which makes it a bit easier for them.
“Most of our dogs are giveaways. We’re only a couple of pensioners so we never pay much for them – we might pay $500 for the odd one.
“But we really look after our animals. There’s lots of love and cuddles and the dogs are happy and healthy. When I open the kennel in the morning, Short Leash just about knocks me over!”
Short Leash’s great affinity with Bendigo’s 425m circuit is such that all but two of her 14 wins have come over Saturday’s pet course, with her other two victories coming at Shepparton.
GRV’s Watchdog Form Guide is tipping the 25-kilogram daughter of super sire Fernando Bale to enhance that record when she exits box three, with exactly half her wins having come from alleys two, three or four.
“She really seems to like Bendigo and she’s very quick out of the boxes,” Smoor said.
“She just doesn’t want any of the big dogs bustling her.
“She won the Greyhound of the Year at Bendigo last year.
“I try to train my dogs to get to the front and when she does that she doesn’t run brilliant times, but she runs honest times.
“She definitely wants to keep racing and hopefully she can get to her 100th start.”