Queensland trainer Dr George Clegg is in the unique situation, where he could have a runner in the world richest greyhound race, and one in the world’s richest turf thoroughbred race, all within the space of 24 hours.
The second leg of the ‘double’ is already locked in, with Dr George, a part-owner of the galloper Pierata, who has a slot in the $14 million TAB Everest on October 19.
On Tuesday at Lismore, George will embark on the first leg with one of the greyhounds he trains, Big Bad Bob.
Big Bad Bob will contest the Lismore heats of the TAB Million Dollar Chase. A top four finish would see him advance to the regional final the following week, and a top four finish there means a place in the semi-finals at Wentworth Park on October 11. Win there, and Bob and Dr George would have a runner in the TAB Million Dollar Chase, an event at Wentworth Park on October 18.
“It’s an enormous ask,” he said of Big Bad Bob making it all the way to the Grand Final. “I would be really happy if he made the semis. Hopefully I can get him qualified and I will take him to Wenty and that would be fitting as his career draws to an end. Just to have a crack at it would be great, and who knows, racing can be a funny game.
“He’s been wonderful dog and they are few and far between. He stays sound, he loves racing and he’s a great chaser.
“I know he’s not far off his best but he will need luck getting through Lismore.”
Big Bad Bob turned four back in February, but is still showing a zest for life and for racing.
“He’s a wonderful old dog, he’s pushing five and still wants to race,” Dr George said. “I have no answers. I don’t know why he’s just a happy dog, he’s happy all the time, he’s the liveliest dog I have in my kennel and I’ve got four pups who are only babies.”
A year ago Big Bad Bob contested the Lismore series of the Million Dollar Chase.
“Yes we had a crack at it last year also at Lismore, and he won a heat and didn’t have much luck in the final,” he said. “He’s not too far off his best looking at the times he has been running.
“Because of the way he jumps we’re always racing for luck. It wouldn’t matter where he drew, it depends on what happens at the jump with him. If he can get to the fence without trouble then he is very fast around the corners.”
With the slot locked in and Pierata returning to the racetrack last weekend with a great second to Redzel in the Concorde Stakes, Dr George says the excitement is truly building.
“Absolutely it is. Greg Hickman (Pierata’s trainer) has said all along he has come back better. He’s got 50kgs of extra weight on him and it looks like it’s all in the engine and his run on Saturday was very competitive.
“I felt 1000m was a bit short for him, but he can do anything this horse.”