Warrnambool training stalwart Debbie Goudge is hoping Nimble Blaze proves a giant-killer again at her home track in the Seaside Distance Challenge final (650m) on Saturday night.
Nimble Blaze conquered champion Christo Bale in a heat last week, saluting at cricket-score odds of $27.80! He clocked a tidy 37.28sec.
A beneficiary of the win was Debbie’s 42-year-old son, Travis, who put the last $17 in his TAB account on Nimble Blaze.
WATCH: Nimble Blaze (4) causes a boilover – at $27.80 – defeating powerhouse Christo Bale (7) in a Seaside Distance Challenge heat at Warrnambool last week.
“I told Travis not to put a penny on him, but he defied me… He said, ‘you’re a lovely mother but a bad judge,” Debbie quipped.
Amazingly, Nimble Blaze had been entered for a 595-metre race at Sandown, but Debbie withdrew the nomination after a couple of friends advised she might get delayed due to works on the West Gate Bridge.
“I didn’t want him to go back in distance, so my little finger pressed ‘Warrnambool 650m’,” she said. “He hadn’t even trialled over the trip, so I couldn’t believe he’d won his heat. It was a total surprise”
But Debbie isn’t confident of ‘lightning striking twice in the one spot’.
“He’s facing more experienced dogs in the final, but I’m just happy he qualified. If he runs a place, it’ll almost be as good as a win.”
Debbie added she would have preferred Nimble Blaze (Box 4) drawn closer to the rail. “There’s a lot of early speed, but honestly, all I want is for him to come off the track safe.”
A respite support worker, Debbie says her “Billy” is a hero at ‘Getaway House’ in Warrnambool where she has assisted disabled children, aged 6-18, for the past eight years.
“Nimble Blaze is a real hit with the kids; he’s their No. 1 fan,” she said. “He’s also adored by many of my work colleagues who never miss watching his races.”
Nimble Blaze – owned by Debbie’s mother, Maureen – has won three races from 10 starts, with $7720 in prizemoney. He’ll almost double his earnings if he takes out the $6700 first prize.
Debbie, who literally grew up with greyhounds, took over training duties from her father, Peter Bloom, around 12 years ago.
“Dad is suffering from dementia, but I still regularly go down to Lyndoch aged care and tell him about the dogs.”
Nimble Blaze (Aug ’18 Mepunga Blazer x Mepunga Rosie) was given to Debbie by good friend and legendary Mepunga East breeder, Barry Smith.
The Seaside Distance Challenge GDR final is Race 7 at 8.11pm.