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‘Bullet’ targets Floodfawn Classic

Yinnar South trainer Gary Joske says winning the female-only $15,750 Floodfawn Classic (500m) at Traralgon on Friday night “would mean a hell of a lot to me”.

“I’m a born-and-bred Traralgon boy, and Floodfawn was an absolute champion,” Joske, 70, said.

“It won’t be about the money ($10,000 first prize), and I still have a connection with Peter Giles who trained her.

“Ironically, I bought a Floodfawn pup (by Elgrando) around 16 years ago.”

Joske has local ‘iron lady’ Whistling Bullet (Box 1) in the final. The Jan ’19 Aston Dee Bee x Daintree Puzzle speedster is lining up for her 99th start.

A model of consistency, Whistling Bullet has 26 wins, 23 seconds and 19 thirds on her CV – an incredible 69% wins/placings strike rate. Her stakes will jump to almost $103,000 if victorious.

Whistling Bullet was the fastest qualifier on June 15, clocking 27.87sec – around 6.5L quicker than the other heat winner, What Could Be (28.26sec).

In a display of her versatility, Whistling Bullet also won at Traralgon on Monday. She semaphored 19.96sec over 350 metres.

It should be noted, she finished fourth to Ferdinand Boy in last year’s The Horizon at Sale.

“I’m a born-and-bred Traralgon boy, and Floodfawn was an absolute champion.”

And it’s a case of ‘like mother, like daughter’ as her dam (Daintree Puzzle) – also prepared by ‘Team Joske’ – contested 115 races for six wins, 27 seconds and 14 thirds.

Joske will “leave it up to the punters to decide” on Whistling Bullet’s chances of taking out the Floodfawn Classic – Race 8, 9.12pm.

“She tries her heart out every time, that’s all I can ask,” he added.

“Retirement is imminent, and she’ll soon become a family pet. One of my sons, Kade, will take her and she’ll be treated like a queen.”

Joske says Whistling Bullet has a very calm demeanour, except for one idiosyncrasy.

“I can’t get her going on a walking machine; she just digs her heels in. But everything else about her is perfect.”

Whistling Bullet received her racing sobriquet as a three-month-old pup.

“She used to dart around the pen and the grandkids would call her a ‘bullet’. It just grew from there,” Joske said.

Joske has long held a simple philosophy when looking for prospective brood matrons.

“I go for types with a sound constitution which have had lengthy careers.

“We’ve got a Feral Franky breeding straw for Whistling Bullet, and her sister Persian Goddess (a G1 Sapphire Crown finalist) has a litter of eight pups (6 male, 2 female) by Fernando Bale, which was whelped on April 15.

Indeed, a Whistling Bullet win would do Floodfawn’s legacy proud.

Floodfawn (Dec ’98 Awesome Assassin x Floodgate) – owned by racecaller Arthur Cooper – is one of the best sprinters ever to emerge from the Gippsland region. Her brilliant career was also one of longevity.

She raced on 110 occasions for 39 wins, 30 seconds and 11 thirds, with stakes totalling $116,456.

A five-time G1 finalist, Floodfawn contested the Australian Cup and Golden Easter Egg (both won by the immortal Brett Lee) and Brisbane Cup and finished second in the Winter Carnival Cup and third in the National Futurity – all in 2001.

She won the 2001 G2 Traralgon Cup and was a finalist in the 2002 G2 Cranbourne Cup and 2001 G3 Sale Cup.

WATCH: WHISTLING BULLET (B3) was ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ in a Floodfawn Classic heat on June 15.

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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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