• Thursday, 18 Aug, 2022,
  • by Peter Quilty

‘Baba’ still has plenty of ‘Run’

RSN race-caller Victoria Shaw recently caught up with Brookfield trainer Jeff Galea to chew the fat on his ‘working mum’ who doesn’t want to stop racing.

Straight out of the traps, Shaw asked: how is Run Baba Run?

“She’s going great at the moment,” Galea quickly replied.

Shaw then asked Galea what he thought had been the key to Run Baba Run’s longevity on the track.

“She’s just been injury free, which is probably the main key.”

“We’ll probably have complaints from the neighbours if we have to retire her.”

Shaw mentioned to Galea, that from 151 starts, Run Baba Run has now notched up 25 wins, 25 seconds, and 28 thirds – effectively putting her in the money in more 50 per cent of her races.

“She has also had 26 fourths and if we got paid for fourth, she’d have a bit more prizemoney,” Galea quipped.

And reflecting on Run Baba Run’s very first race outing at Geelong – way back on September 20, 2019 – when Wallbanger  took out the 400m event defeating Snake Pit Lass and Run Baba Run, Galea conceded: “She has been meeting the better dogs right through her career really.”

Fast forward to her 150th milestone event at The Meadows on August 3 this year, when Run Baba Run was ‘robbed’ by Chillout Cookie of a sesquicentennial victory.

Run Baba Run started brilliantly from box eight and led up until the home turn until Chillout Cookie levelled up and the pair went together towards the line. Run Baba Run tried her heart out and was only defeated by a half-length.

It was a terrific effort for several reasons, as it was only her fifth run from a spell after having a litter of pups.

“She just loves The Meadows, and she loves to race,” Galea informed.

The Galeas have bred four generations on Run Baba Run’s maternal pedigree – Little Pookie – which harks back to Paul Bartolo’s pre-potent Leprechaun Miss, Leprechaun Yap and Brood Saquan line.

Little Pookie, which contested an incredible 170 races before retiring, possessed a fantastic race attitude.

“We probably would have retired Little Pookie a lot earlier if she didn’t carry on in the kennels as much as she did,” Galea said. “As soon as we gave her a trial, she would settle down for a couple of weeks. So, we figured we would race rather than trial her.”

Jeff Galea cuddling one of RUN BABA RUN’S pups by FERAL FRANKY.

Such an intense desire to run is acutely evident in Little Pookie’s daughter, Run Baba Run, which is probably why she almost looks like she’s smiling when leaping out of the boxes at her 150th start.

Coursing events were added to Run Baba Run’s preparation this year, with a return to racing in mind after whelping seven puppies (3 male, 4 female) by Feral Franky in January.

“To get a bit more fitness into her, I thought coursing would be the ideal way of doing it,” Galea told Shaw. “She loves it; she got beat at her first course, but then we happened to get a trial and we put her up again the second time and she loved it.”

Shaw asked Galea if he could convey how he felt the night Run Baba Run stepped out to contest the 2020 Group 1 National Futurity final at Wentworth Park. (She finished fourth behind Zipping Veyron, Wild Flyer and Aston Maeve.)

Ryan Galea and his young daughter with another puppy from RUN BABA RUN’S litter.

“We were so proud of her… She has been really good to us and has also made the 2021 Murray Bridge Cup.

“I didn’t want to take her, but my son Ryan talked me into it. She won her heat and made the final, finishing second to Air Marshall.”

Jeff and his wife Tess have three sons, but it’s Ryan who mainly helps his parents out with the greyhounds. Subsequently, Jeff can make some great lifestyle choices, striking up a great work-life balance as a mechanic and auto electrician while planning his automotive work around his greyhound racing commitments.

“When the dogs are running good, we just concentrate on the dogs,” he said.

Tess Galea with RUN BABA RUN prior to racing recently at Sandown Park.

“I’m sure the greyhounds are rapt to be with you, and the proof is in the pudding when you have animals stepping out at their 151st or 170th race start – it’s an amazing achievement on your part,” Shaw commented.

When asking Galea what has impressed him the most about Run Baba Run during her very lengthy career, he responded: “We just love her; you have really got to be next to her to know what it’s like. She nearly talks to you. It’s hard to explain, you have got to be next to her.”

Shaw also quizzed Galea on what it will take to retire Run Baba Run, which she suspects may get upset when not attending the races.

“We’ll probably have complaints from the neighbours if we have to retire her,” came Galea’s succinct reply.

WATCH: RUN BABA RUN (B8) finishes a gallant second to CHILLOUT COOKIE (B1) at her 150th start.

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

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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