Baba just keeps on running

\"\"CAPTION: Jeff Galea’s fawn sprinter Run Baba Run has raced as light as 24.5kg but that hasn’t stopped her from clocking up 23 wins at multiple tracks from an impressive lengthy career that has so far stretched to 122 starts. (Photo: Clint Anderson – BlueStream Pictures)

By Andrew Thomson

MELTON trainer Jeff Galea is hoping to make a trip to Sale to add to the impressive record of his handy sprinter Run Baba Run.
Run Bana Run has saluted at Ballarat, Bendigo, Murray Bridge, Sandown (in 29.55), Shepparton (25.09), multiple times at The Meadows as well as at Cranbourne, Warrnambool, Warragul and Wentworth Park.
The Fernando Bale-Little Pookie fawn bitch has raced as light as 24.5 kilograms  but that hasn\’t slowed her down in clocking up 122 starts for 23 wins, 46 placings and $123,000 in prizemoney.
Racing longevity is in her bloodlines. Her dam Little Pookie (Cosmic Rumble-Liberty Speed) had 170 starts for 16 wins and 50 placings and she also goes back to dam Brood Saquan (Brett Lee-Leprechaun Yap) a full-sister to Group One performers Betty\’s Angel (20 wins, $441,000 prizemoney) and Miss Mini Mouse (17 wins, $150,000).
Run Baba Run\’s litter brother Scatterbox has had 89 starts for 12 wins, 27 placings and $71,000 in prizemoney, including wins on both Melbourne city tracks.

Run Bana Run has saluted at Ballarat, Bendigo, Murray Bridge, Sandown (in 29.55), Shepparton (25.09), multiple times at The Meadows as well as at Cranbourne, Warrnambool, Warragul and Wentworth Park.
\”They do seem to have prolonged racing careers. I don\’t know what it is but they hang together pretty well,\” Galea said.

\”Scatterbox broke a front leg and lost some time away from racing.

\”Little Pookie raced 170 times. She had a litter and went back to the track and won after that.
\”Paul Brotolo used to retire and breed with his bitches after 30 starts, but I noticed that Peter Giles\’ good bitches had up to 100 starts.

\”Why not race them if they are fit, healthy and competitive.\”

Galea said he considered retiring Run Baba Run a fortnight ago, but the bitch made her thoughts on staying at home very clear.

\”She went mad in the kennel, so I trialled her and she\’s gone as good as ever,\” he said.

\”I don\’t think it comes down to the number of starts she\’s had or her age. She\’ll let me know when she\’s had enough.

\”Pookie was the same. She had a litter, came back and won races. Her first litter was to our own dog Sisco Rage. He had 150 starts and that litter has won over $100,000.\”

Galea said he breeds a couple of litters each year, which he trained and raced.

\”Not a lot of people agree with the way I train. I like to race my dogs every four or five days, so it\’s best I do it for myself,\” he said.

\”I see a lot of good trainers race and then trial in between their next race. Their dogs run real quick times, but I see that as a wasted race.

\”A lot of trainers go on strike rates, that doesn\’t worry me. I like mine to race.\”

The trainer said Run Baba Run\’s half-sister had been mated with Mepunga Blazer.

\”Unless I\’m using an import I try to use the third or fourth line crosses,\” he said.

\”I think we\’ve got the fastest dogs in the world and I use that cross breeding system.

\”Run Baba Run would have been the last pup picked in her litter. She was tiny compared to others like Cracked Soda who was 28 to 29 kgs.

\”I try and race Run Baba Run at 26 kgs although she\’s closer to 25. She has the early pace to get away with being that size.

\”Originally she was no good. I had her in the Bendigo auction, the whole litter was nominated.

\”She was a 24.50 Bendigo bitch. I thought she might get down to 24.30. Buyers can pay overs at that auction.\”

Galea said in the trials Run Baba Run clocked a surprising 23.90.

\”I don\’t know where the hell that came from,\” he said.

\”She found half a second and she had already had a handful of starts. She did little early, winning a maiden in 26.22 at Ballarat.

\”I was half looking to turn her over. Sometimes the penny drops.

\”Dad bred the Sisco breed and said don\’t worry about them until they are two years and two or three months.

\”He would trial Sisco Buzz and me and young Johnny would say \’why bother\’, but Dad was right – he knew the dog would be all right and he went on and won $80,000.

\”Sometimes training is about patience. It\’s about knowing your breed.\”

Galea said breaking in over 300 metres often did not give a clear picture of how a greyhound would perform over 500m when mature.

\”How many stayers never got the opportunity to show what they could do over more ground?\” he said.

\”Lenny Jones had Sweet It Is (23 wins, $945,000). Her times over 400m were terrible. Lenny was smart enough to give her a go over 700m.

\”It\’s like a lot of the old trainers say, trying a greyhound over ground can be an opportunity. A dog can only get tired.\”

The 56-year-old auto electrician said he had been involved in greyhound racing for 30 years.

He said he was always prepared to travel to give his dogs the best chance of winning.

\”With better dogs it doesn\’t matter, but with an average dog it does,\” he said.

\”Run Baba Run hasn\’t won at Sale. I should go there before she retires,\” he said.

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