Pearcedale owner/trainers Keith and Lisa Hellmuth are optimistic their feature race affinity with NSW will continue when barnstorming heat winner Burn Time lines up in the Group 1 Association Cup (720m) this Saturday night.
The Hellmuths celebrated their first Group 1 victory when underrated sprinter Peter Rocket, the sire of Burn Time, won the Dapto Megastar in 2013 and then in 2019 they won the Group 1 Peter Mosman Opal at Wentworth Park with Start A Riot.
Their other Group 1 celebration came via Rockoon, another son of Peter Rocket, in the 2017 Hume Cup at The Meadows.
After two confidence-boosting victories at Angle Park, Burn Time, the only greyhound the Hellmuths currently have in work, made his Wentworth Park debut as a $16 outsider in the second of three Association Cup heats.
Burn Time found himself at the tail of the field early but improved to be third with a lap to go and set out after fellow Victorian visitors Fernando Cazz and Run Like Jess, which were both well-fancied at $5.
Burn Time finished powerfully, defeating local Zipping Niseko by three-quarters of a length in 42.11s, completing a winning hat-trick.
“It was unexpected,” said Keith Hellmuth.
“It was a pretty hot field with a lot of good beginners and we were worried he might get buried away. But we thought if he got a clear run, which he did, he had a chance.
“He seems to make his way through a field pretty well and when he got to third or fourth I thought he’s in this for sure.
“He loves it first-up anywhere for some reason and they say Wentworth Park can be a tough track first-up so we were rapt.
“Peter Rocket was exactly the same. He ran 29.52s at his first look at Wentworth Park in a heat of the Golden Easter Egg (2013).
“We had this race in our minds but we weren’t sure how he would travel, which was one of the reasons we took him to Adelaide. It’s also hard to find distance races so we thought we might sneak over there where it might be a little bit easier than Victoria.”
Despite his impressive first-up heat victory, Burn Time (box 2), a winner of 18 from 49 including his past three on end, is again a $16 outsider in TAB’s Association Cup market.
The two other Victorian finalists, Robert Britton’s Here’s Tears (3), winner of the Group 3 Sydney Cup last October, is at $12 and Group 1 Rookie Rebel winner Fernando Cazz, trained by teenager Kayla Cottrell, is also $16.
“He’s won a few races out of box two and if he gets a clear run again he’ll be a really good chance,” Hellmuth said.
Burn Time is an entirely home-grown product with the Hellmuths also racing his mother Headline, a half-sister to Rockoon and a littermate to Warragul Cup finalist Fuelish.
“Peter Rocket didn’t get much of a go at stud – he only served about 20 bitches – he was very underrated and has proven he can produce good dogs,” Hellmuth said.
“Headline was a strong 600m bitch and this is her first litter.
“We gave her to Tracie Price, a friend of ours in South Australia, to breed with and we get two pups from each litter. She’s also had a litter to My Redeemer that’s broken in pretty good and has just had another litter to Aussie Infrared.
“Burn Time is the only dog we have at the moment. We’re actually getting out of training, at least for a while. We’ve bought a van and we’re going to do some travelling, which you can’t do with greyhounds.”
Another interstate Group 1 victory would be a perfect way for the Hellmuths to farewell greyhound racing for the time being.
WATCH: Lisa Hellmuth was ecstatic after Burn Time’s Association Cup heat win.
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