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GAP candidate chases ‘untapped’ Group 1 glory

There was a time when Untapped was a potential ‘applicant’ for GRV’s Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).

Incredibly, she’ll compete in the Group 1 Bold Trease final (715m) at Sandown Park on Friday night. Untapped (Box 1) is a $7.00 chance on TAB.

Failure can’t cope with persistence and her Dennington trainer, Dustin Drew, has shown the ‘patience of Job’.

“As a pup she wouldn’t go a yard and it took a lot of tolerance to get her going. In fact, she just stood next to me at her first trial,” Drew, 37, said.

“I devoted a lot of one-on-one time and I think I was the last resort for her from a racing perspective, or she may have been headed to GAP.”

It seems light years from a $5000 Ballarat final win in August to now competing for a $105,000 first prize – but it’s all happened in three months!

“I’ve always said, once the penny dropped, that she’s got freakish talent,” Drew said. “You just don’t know where she’s going to end, but you have to be hands-on with her.”

Untapped, a winner of 10 from 32, made a sensational staying debut with a 41.83sec heat win – around three lengths slower than fastest heat winner Mepunga Ruby (41.63sec), who is $2.25 favourite for the final.

“Everyone keeps telling me about the ‘second-up syndrome’ (with staying),” Drew said. “But my only concern is she’s taking on elite seasoned stayers.

“You have to respect them, and they may have a bit on her. But if she gets to the front, she could run them off their feet.”

An emotional Drew also paid tribute to his father, Ray – a revered Warrnambool greyhound racing identity – who sadly passed away on October 14 after a 10-month battle with liver cancer, aged 73.

“Dad and I did everything together with our greyhounds,” he said. “We won a Group 1 (Maturity Classic) with Kilty Express in 2016.

“He’d be very proud of what we’ve achieved, and we want to keep carrying on the family tradition in the sport. Hopefully he’s there in spirit, looking down on us on Friday night.”

Drew added that he’s “not totally surprised” Untapped has made a G1 final.

“It’s a funny one; I’ve always known how good she is. She’s been set for the Bold Trease for some time, and a win would be even more emotional as our family have known Norm and Barb McCullagh for many years.”

Norm McCullagh trained Bold Trease, the four-time Sandown Cup winner who was nicknamed the ‘Warrnambool Warrior’.

Untapped (Apr ’19 Aston Dee Bee x Mepunga Fame) – a ‘graduate’ from the 2019 National Greyhound Draft – is raced by ‘Team Borda’ comprising around 50 part-owners including Ivana Robertson, 61, from Endeavour Hills.

An elated Robertson, a cleaner at an aged care facility in Mordialloc, was on-course to witness Untapped’s heat win.

“My heart was thumping, I was ecstatic,” Robertson said. “She just keeps surprising, but I never thought she’d make a Group 1 final.

“I said to my husband that if she wins the final, I’ll probably fall over the grandstand balcony rail with excitement.

“But I didn’t go into the syndicate to make money – I just love a greyhound’s friendly nature.

“And I’m so rapt with Dustin; you couldn’t ask for a better trainer. I’m so glad he’s had the patience with her.”

Robertson was introduced to the sport as a teenager, helping her brother Aldo Comin walk his greyhounds.

“I’ve part-owned three greyhounds previously and only two made it to the track, although they never won a race,” she said.

Robertson is also in ‘Team TAB’ with Green Blazer, who is trained by Jason Sharp.

WATCH: Distance debutante Untapped (6) shocks some star stayers with a G1 Bold Trease heat win.

G1 BOLD TREASE FINAL (715m)
Friday 26 November, Sandown Park
First prize: $105,000

1 UNTAPPED (Dustin Drew, Dennington VIC)
2 KENNY THE BRUTE (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)
3 MEPUNGA RUBY (Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC)
4 RUN LIKE JESS (Robert Camilleri, Lara VIC)
5 KNICKS BALE (Samantha Grenfell, Anakie VIC)
6 GYPSY WYONG (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)
7 LINE OF QUALITY (Darryl Thomas, Sawyers Gully, NSW)
8 DRAKO BALE (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)

Reserves
9 STANLEY ROAD (Mark Gatt, Thirlmere NSW)
10 NIKEPHOROS (Tim Britton, Lara VIC)

HEAT WINNERS
(Fastest to slowest):

  • 41.63sec Mepunga Ruby
  • 41.72sec Line Of Quality
  • 41.83sec Untapped
  • 42.13sec Knicks Bale

RELATED:

HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Thrill of the Chase with Molly Haines, Gareth Hall and George Farrugia on 7Two and via The Watchdog app from 6-7pm.
– Comprehensive live telecast trackside with Jason Lincoln, Marc Ohlmus and Jason Adams on Sky Racing, watchdog.grv.org.au and via The Watchdog App from 7pm.
– Behind the scenes Twitter coverage with ‘@SandownDogs’ and ‘@WatchDogRacing’.
– Regular updates with Trent Langskaill on RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM).
– Coverage of TAB Melbourne Cup Final with Andrew Copley on 3AW (693 AM).

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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