Trainer Frank Hurst believes it would be fitting if Good Odds Harada can take the penultimate step up the all-time prizemoney earners’ ladder at Bathurst on Friday night in the club’s annual feature event, the Ladbrokes Bathurst Gold Cup Final.
Good Odds Harada currently sits in third spot on the Australian list behind Fanta Bale who accumulated $1,365,175, and Fernando Bale who won $1,299,370. Good Odds Harada, the winner of the TAB Million Dollar Chase last October, has pocketed $1,278,135 for Frank and his wife Tracey, and if he can snare a Cup win, the $25,000 first prize would take him past Fernando Bale.
What would make it fitting is that Bathurst was where his Million Dollar Chase journey began back in September last year. Good Odds Harada won the heat and then the final, and was actually the first dog qualified for the semi-finals. History shows he then won the semi-final at Wentworth Park and a week later joined Mystic Riot as winners of the world’s richest greyhound race.
“That why we are back there,” Hurst said in respect to heading to Bathurst with Fernando Bale in sight. “Because he’s our dog (Tracey is the owner) we can please ourselves and go wherever we want to. After the million dollar race we took him down to Goulburn (for their Cup series).
“We qualified at Bathurst with him (for the MDC semis), and we are taking him back there. They wanted him up there, the people want to see him, and be associated with him, and that’s good for the industry, it brings people to the track and we’re happy to do that.
“We are not looking for accolades but we’ve always aimed for that (prizemoney record) after winning the million dollar race. We could have retired him and things like that but we were just having too much fun with him.
“We decided to keep racing him and then all the talk about the money records came up, and he’s not far away, so we thought that would be another feather in his cap if we could break that. And that’s where we were headed.
“It really isn’t about money for us. That’s not being in any way funny or smug, we’re in it for a good time and we’re having a good time and we’re going to keep doing it at least for a while.
“While ever the dog is fit and well and he’s not taking any harm, he’ll keep racing.”
Good Odds Harada won his heat in the best of the day a 29.71s performance but it wasn’t a jump and run victory, he was third away and had to push up heading out of the straight to get to the front before racing away.
He has drawn box six in the final, ironically the draw he had when he ran 29.30s - just a length outside the track record - in the Million Dollar Chase heats at Bathurst, and also the draw he had a week later in the Regional Final when he again led his rivals a merry dance winning in 29.43s. Those two runs, plus last week’s heat win off box one, are his only three Bathurst runs he has had.
“It’s probably the worst draw he can get,” Frank said. “Not because it’s the six box, but the five (Solar Sky) comes out fairly good and does a right hand turn, and the seven, Rob Camilleri’s dog (Shima Breeze) comes out good and does a left hand turn, so we’re the ham in the sandwich unless we can beat them both out. If we come out behind them, we might be in a bit of trouble at the start.”