Darren Fisher says he’ll either look like “a genius or a fool” when much-hyped ex-NSW stayer Good Juan makes his hugely anticipated Victorian debut at The Meadows on Saturday afternoon.
Good Juan created mainstream headlines in June when he “broke the Internet” after coming from an impossible position to win an unsuitable sprint race at Wentworth Park in Sydney.
The stunning performance attracted close to half a million views on social media platforms, unprecedented numbers for greyhound racing.
But just four runs later, Good Juan’s owner’s Bronte Kumm and Linda Edgerton, who purchased the boom galloper for a six-figure sum early in the year, made the decision to relocate the son of late super sire Barcia Bale to Lara trainer Darren Fisher.
“He’s been here for four weeks tomorrow,” Fisher said on Thursday.
“He’s a bit of a strange dog. He’s got his quirks and bits and pieces – he’s just a funny dog – but he’s settled in now and he’s as good as gold.
“I have all his owners’ dogs here. They actually had their first city winner at The Meadows last Saturday with Coco Nova, which they bought as a pup and reared themselves. They’re not counting Good Juan because they bought him as a race dog.
“I knew they were buying Good Juan but I didn’t push for the dog to come here.
“To cut the story short, he was always going to come to Victoria because that’s where the money is and now he’s here!”
While Good Juan’s last-to-first racing pattern ensures there are plenty of anxious moments for connections and punters alike, he’s thus far won 10 of his 24 starts and was a slick last start 41.96s winner over 720m at Wentworth Park on August 1.
Saturday’s 600m assignment at The Meadows is short of Good Juan’s ideal distance but he will create huge interest when he exits box seven in race 5 to jump at 4.45pm.
Good Juan is TAB’s $2.40 favourite but his new trainer isn’t making any bold predictions.
“Whatever he does on Saturday he’s going to improve on,” said Fisher.
“The aim was always to take him back up for the Sydney Cup (heats October 9) so I’ve got three weeks to get him ready for 700.
“He’s had a couple of looks at The Meadows but he’s probably underdone for Saturday. All he’s had since coming here is a hand-slip at Bendigo, a hand-slip at The Meadows and a 500m at The Meadows.
“He was either going to trial over 600m or race over 600m and my theory is I prefer to race them.
“Whatever he does on Saturday will be a bonus. It’s a stepping stone to 700m and as long as he pulls up safe and sound on Sunday he’ll be heading towards the Sydney Cup.”