Cowra husband and wife training team, Paul and Pam Braddon were hoping - and many even expected - they would have at least one of the two qualifiers out of the Bathurst regional final, headed to next month’s GRNSW + Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase semi-finals.
Most of those with those original expectations, thought the Braddon’s chances went out the door when their kennel star, and Bathurst track record holder Falcon’s Fury, had no luck in last week’s Bathurst heats, and failed to qualify for the Regional Final.
But the series has already shown not to expect the expected, and while Falcon’s Fury didn’t reach the final, his kennelmate Double Up Dee did, and then on Monday night, on a night where the favourites were upset, he snatched one of the two semi-final berths, finishing second behind another roughie, Rohan Hill, after being last to leave the starting boxes.
“He needs an odd (box) number,” Pam said of the odds being loaded first. “He needs to get in there and settle. The longer he is in the boxes the better he is, but he’s not a brilliant beginner and if he does begin, you can bet your bottom dollar he’ll go straight left. The one (box) would be perfect for him – odd and next to the rail.
“When he doesn’t get an odd, like on Monday night when he had the two, he just misses it. He was last to the turn at Bathurst, but he came home well.
“He’s just unreliable at the boxes.
“When the draw came out, Paul said all the pace is out wide with Sky Wave and Miss Splendamiro and Caitlyn Keeping. Paul said they’re going to bring themselves undone, and that’s what happened.”
Double Up Dee will now race in the semi-finals of the series at Wentworth Park on October 12. A win that night and there is a spot in the $1 million to the winner grand final on October 20.
“He’s won at Wenty … it wasn’t flash time but he tries. He comes home strongly,” said Pam. “Then again it depends on what you come up against he could come against all the ones who have won group races, and he was only a fifth grader at Bathurst on Monday night.
“But, you’ve got to give it go”.
As for Falcon’s Fury, he too may head to Wentworth Park and try to win his way through to the semis via the City Qualifying heats which commence on September 22 and run for three consecutive Saturdays.
“He just had no luck at all in the heats at Bathurst. He just couldn’t get around the two (Let’s Win Meisha) no matter where he went. He was short a run, we knew that, but Paul thought he’d run second at worst, and we ended up an unlucky third.
“That was his first run back since he broke down at Dubbo (in April). He had been trialling brilliantly but it’s coming out of the boxes … you need to see how he’s competing with other dogs.
“He picked up a wrist problem on Monday night too and has pulled up a little bit sore, thankfully not as bad as one from Dubbo, and the opposite one too.
“It’s like when you roll your ankle, and we’re hoping he will get over it and we’ll be able to go to Wenty Park with him.”
Pam says she and Paul don’t make the four and a half hour trip from their Cowra home to Wentworth Park too often thesedays.
Paul suffers from “jumpy leg syndrome” which causes unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them. It makes long distance travelling by car very difficult.
“We’re not young anymore and the driving is quite hard. Once Paul’s legs start jumping, he has to get out and starting walking around.
“But we’ll be there for the semi-finals now and hopefully we might have a few in there. We’re going to Temora with Spring Jazz, we were going to Dubbo with Ferrero Miss, but she was injured when we put her post to post at Dubbo the week before last, and we might try Metallic Flash somewhere as well.
”As I said, you have to give it a go.”