Waging War received his racing sobriquet from a Rod Stewart song, “I Was Only Joking”.
But there’s no time for jest – albeit trainer Glenn Rounds hopes for the ‘last laugh’ – when he chases a $1 million winner’s purse in Sydney on Friday night.
Waging War is one of two Victorians – the other Wallbanger – contesting the TAB Million Dollar Chase final (520m) at Wentworth Park.
He’s drawn Box 4 in the world’s richest greyhound race and is a $26 outsider on TAB’s fixed odds market. (Waging War claimed an MDC semi-final last week in 29.87sec.)
“Obviously, he won’t be first out… We’re running for luck and greyhound racing is full of it,” Rounds said. “The real good dogs are like ‘hamburgers with the lot’… We don’t have the speed, but we have the strength.”
Due to COVID-19 border restrictions, Waging War has been racing in Sydney under the caretaker trainership of iconic NSW trainer John Finn.
“I first met John while living in Sydney for 12 months in 1988 and we’ve been mates ever since,” Rounds said. “I’ll leave him with John as he’s settled in there and I believe in leaving well enough alone… I’d like him to turn Waging War into a handy stayer.”
Rounds added that Waging War “came home sick” after contesting the Richmond Derby final in early March.
“He contracted canine coronavirus, which knocked him around. So, we spelled him before putting him back into work. But he returned below par, so we spelled him again… He was always going to Sydney, but when Sandown closed due to remedial track works, I left him there.”
Rounds had Curt Lee (7th) in last year’s MDC final won by NSW superstar Good Odds Harada.
“Curt Lee was a dog who had to lead, and if he didn’t his race was gone. But with Waging War, if he doesn’t lead, we’re still in the race.”
Waging War (Sep ’17 Moreira x Someday Lady) has won 12 races, with 12 seconds and three thirds, from 47 starts. His stakes total $85,485.
He’s also one of the most versatile greyhounds in the land, having competed in five group race finals over sprint and middle distances – Runner-up: G1 Sale Cup (650m). Finalist: G1 Rookie Rebel (600m); G2 Richmond Derby (535m); G3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m); G3 Cranbourne Classic (520m).
Million Dollar Chase
Wentworth Park (520m)
Friday 16 October, 10.03pm
1. Shadow Mist (SA)
2. Xerri (NSW)
3. Flying Ricciardo (NSW)
4. Waging War (Vic)
5. Wallbanger (Vic)
6. Awesome Catch (NSW)
7. Handsome Prince (NSW)
8. Tommy Shelby (WA)
9. Faithy Bale (Vic)
10. Shetland (NSW)
ICYMI: The TAB Million Dollar Chase final is Race 9 at 10.03pm.