Tasmanian greyhound training expat Brendan Pursell has been no ‘smalltown boy’ since relocating to Victoria four years ago.
And he has ‘hit that perfect beat’ with a string of 12 city winners – many at big odds – in the past fortnight.
Obviously, the star of the show is Bronski Beat who will contest the Group 1 Sandown Cup (715m) on Thursday night. (He will line up in Race 6, Box 8 at 7.42pm.)
Bronski Beat is making his group race debut at the highest level, while Pursell finished third with Peppertide in last year’s Sandown Cup won by Rajasthan.
He’s quoted at $11 on tab.com.au for the $50,000-to-the-winner final but must be respected following a frontrunning 42.07sec heat win last week – scoring at $16.20!
Bronski Beat (Feb ’18 Fernando Bale x Ainsley Bale) is aiming to become the first Tasmanian-bred greyhound to win the Sandown Cup since Chinatown Lad in 2008.
He was whelped down by astute Apple Isle breeder and ex-bookmaker Barry Heawood, who part-owned 2013 G1 Bold Trease winner Cheetah Zorro.
“Bronski Beat is better drawn inside, so the ‘pink’ is a concern… He’s got to jump, that’s the secret to him,” Pursell said. “He’s better off in front, but he can come from behind… But he’ll need a clear run as he doesn’t like other dogs around him.”
Pursell rates Rockstar Beav, Blazing Cartier and last year’s Sandown Cup runner-up Ella Enchanted as the ones to beat, saying the trio all produced fantastic heat performances.
Pursell can also ‘thank’ Rob Britton for acquiring Bronski Beat.
“Rob used to train his dam, Ainsley Bale, and mentioned she had a “huge motor”. So, I bought him (Bronski Beat) as a three-month-old pup for $5000.
Owned by Pursell’s partner Emma Wardlaw, Bronski Beat has won nine races from 29 starts with $41,145 in stakes.
Ironically, Britton and Pursell will be friendly rivals on Thursday night. Britton, who is chasing his third Sandown Cup in four years, trains Blazing Cartier.
A former harness trainer-driver, Pursell named Bronski Beat after a star pacer he was associated with in the 1980s. He suspects it was named after a Scottish synthpop trio which achieved success during that period.