The Frank Hurst-trained Good Odds Harada is poised to be the first greyhound through to the semi-finals of the TAB Million Dollar Chase following a stunning performance at Bathurst on Monday night.
Bathurst will stage the first final of the series on Saturday night, and judging by his performance on Monday in the heats, it would be a brave punter to bet against the talented sprinter.
Good Odds Harada carved across from his box six draw to cross the field and hold the lead into the first turn, and then put a huge space between himself and his rivals.
On the post the margin was a massive 10 ¼ lengths, and the time was a stunning 29.30s. That time was just a length outside the track record of Falcon’s Fury, set back in January 2018 at 29.24s.
Second was Double Up Dee, a semi-finalist in the Million Dollar Chase last year after finishing second to Rohan Hill in the Bathurst Regional Final in 2018. Fernando Porche was a further half length away in third, while the fourth placegettter was Midnight Joyce who also gains a place in Saturday’s final.
It was hardly surprising that Good Odds Harada had something on his rivals at Bathurst. He went into the heat on the back of finishing second to Premium Share in the National Sprint Championship Final at Cannington in Perth at his last start on August 24.
And when you hear what Good Odds Harada did last week in the lead-up to the Bathurst heat, a big victory in fast time was actually expected.
“He had been here before a long time ago when he was very young, but we couldn’t find it in our records anywhere so we brought him up here on Thursday,” Hurst said.
“We trialled him over 450m and he smashed the track record. It was only a trial on his own but he went 25.22s.”
The track record at Bathurst over the 450m stands to Shakey Jakey who clocked 25.28s in an official trial back in March 2014. Pringle’s brilliant sprinter only ever raced once - a month later - and set a still unbroken track record at Wentworth Park running 29.07s.
“So without being smart, the time wasn’t really that unexpected. He’s just flying right now,” Hurst said.
“He’d been playing up in the boxes, but when he went to Perth the boxes are smaller and he didn’t have room to play up in them. So I gave him two runs out of the boxes over there and then when we came here tonight, I put him in the bigger boxes and he settled perfectly.”
Hurst believes Good Odds Harada could use some time off racing, and that’s a motivation behind going to Bathurst to hopefully qualify early for the Million Dollar Chase semi-finals on October 11, and then give his star some time off.
Goods Odds Harada is a litter brother to Feral Franky being out of the Collision – Solar Pak litter. Another one from that litter is Solar Sky, who will also be in next Saturday’s Bathurst Regional Final.
The second MDC heat at Bathurst was a rough affair with plenty of action back in the field, but while that was happening, Solar Sky was happily sailing along in the lead, and scored a comfortable win in 29.77s
Like Feral Franky, she too is trained at Forbes by Jack Smith.
Second went to Syd Swain’s Buck’s Future who struck a lot of trouble before working his way clear to race into second spot, 4 ¼ lengths behind the winner.
A year ago Buck’s Future missed qualifying for the Bathurst Regional Final but would make his way into the semis of the series through the City Qualifiers, and then finished second to Midnight Starlet in the semi-final, narrowly missing a place in the $1 million to the winner Grand Final.
Third place went to Bintang Bullet, with Wolf Bear in fourth, also booking a berth in Saturday’s Regional Final.
Good Odds Harada will again exit the six box in the final with his sister next door in box 5.
The box draw is: 1 Double Up Dee 2 Wolf Bear 3 Midnight Joyce 4 Bintang Bullet 5 Solar Sky 6 Good Odds Harada 7 Buck’s Future 8 Fernando Porche.
Gosford will on Tuesday night host two heats of the TAB Million Dollar Chase as the series really starts to warm up.