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Veteran Pirate continues to plunder

Pirates Patch, Malcolm Davis, take a bow!”

Race-caller Victoria Shaw was justifiably lavish in her praise of Pirates Patch and her Altona Green owner/trainer Malcolm Davis after the veteran speedster incredibly set a new Ballarat 450m PB at her 126th start earlier this month.

Shaw later spoke to Davis about Pirates Patch’s remarkable zest for racing.

“We were really happy with Pirates Patch, we really love her,” he said.

“She’s a beautiful little girl, and she just seems to be getting better with age. We are looking forward to breeding with her, but at this stage she hasn’t come on season.”

Pirates Patch, which will turn five next February, reinforced Davis’ belief that she’s improving with age at Ballarat on September 4, clocking 25.405sec, her 35th career success.

“I can’t see any reason why greyhounds, if they are well looked after and well kept, cannot run until they are five years old.”

“Oh yes, she is a very hard chaser,” Davis said.

“I’d say she’s one of the best chasers I’ve had, in the way she goes about her business. She really loves to run, that little girl.

“They were never going to beat her once she got to the front, she is a very, very hard chaser. I was surprised at her age; she was still running good time.”

Pirates Patch’s Ballarat benchmark sits proudly among a host of memorable performances, with a close second in a heat of the Group 2 Ballarat Cup in 2021, beaten a nose, also rating highly.

Davis also shared some of Pirates Patch’s quirks, describing the strikingly marked – hence her swashbuckling moniker – daughter of Peter Rocket and Fancy Mojo as a “a little bugger sometimes”.

“If I forget to put a muzzle on her, she will eat her mat,” he said.

“She likes to eat her rugs, she doesn’t just have a nibble at them, she actually will have a fair bit.

“She has more than paid for rugs that she has wrecked. But you cannot leave her alone, because without a muzzle on, she will eat anything this dog!

“She comes home and eats Christine’s flowers and stuff in the backyard, she’s got a funny little nature, I can tell you.”

Pirates Patch’s penchant for dining out isn’t restricted to her mats!

“If our dogs win, they usually get a hamburger or ice cream. With her running a PB, we were really rapt, she actually upgraded to a Big Mac and two ice creams that day!”

While Pirates Patch is still performing at an optimum level, Davis is excited about her potential as a brood matron, with a ‘family affair’ at the forefront of his planning.

“We’re waiting for her to come on season now, and we intend to put her to a highly commercial sire to give her first litter every chance,” he said.

“In the future, I would like to see her go to my son’s stud dog, Speed Star (113 starts: 47-23-15).

“Speed Star was a brilliant dog. He raced until he was four and a half and was still running top times. He won his last race in the best of the night.

“You don’t win 47 races if you are no good and in top company. He was in three Cup finals, the Geelong, Ballarat, and Warragul Cup finals. So, we would like to give him a chance with her. It would be all our own breeding then, with Pirates Patch and Speed Star, and just see how they go.”

WATCH: At her 126th start, evergreen sprinter PIRATES PATCH (B4) remarkably recorded a new PB over 450m Ballarat on September 4, clocking 25.41sec, her 35th career victory.

Davis describes himself as “one of the old type” trainers, explaining he prefers not to trial, once his greyhounds are fit.

“Very rarely do I trial a greyhound, and we don’t really ‘slip’ a greyhound much in between. I find that we may as well race them,” he said.

“If you want to see a greyhound go around two or three times a month, why not just race them? Why waste them on a trial? Keep them fairly fresh and that’s about it.”

Pirates Patch isn’t the only veteran to have thrived under Davis’ guidance, having retired in recent times Hot Jean and Speedy Spyro, a litter brother to Speed Star, which started 149 times, accumulating a 20-31-23 record.

“Speedy Spyro raced until he was nearly six years old, and he was competitive all the way through,” said Davis.

“I can’t see any reason why greyhounds, if they are well looked after and well kept, cannot run until they are five years old. There is really no reason.

“I would say Pirates Patch would have another, if you look after her, 20 starts if you want to. I would say with the warmer weather coming, she might come in season, and then we will breed with her.”

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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