Blue Hornet on track to achieve Burmans’ Holy Grail

Caption: Mary Burman and Blue Hornet. (Photo: Box 1 Photography)

By PAT McLEOD

Champagne Sally will always be ‘the special one’ for Mary and Ray Burman, but current kennel star Blue Hornet is on the path to deliver the veteran south-east Queensland trainers their holy grail.

 On Thursday night at Albion Park Blue Hornet contests the TAB Christmas Stocking Final (600m).

That’s the ‘warm-up’.

On the following Wednesday (December 27), The Creek will host the heats of the Group 1 Golden Sands (600m).

The Thursday after, January 4, is the final – the race that Mary Burman not only believes Blue Hornet deserves to win, but victory would also fulfill the Burmans’ final major training ambition.

“It is no secret that we haven’t managed to win a group one race,” Mary said.

“We have won other groups races – group two races and group three races. Now it is definitely a bucket list thing to win a group one before our careers come to an end.

“It is one of the reasons I keep turning up every week.

“And, I believe the window is wide open at the moment for Blue Hornet, one of the best chances he has to win that group one race.”

The timing is good. The Golden Sands has just been elevated to group one status and boasts prizemoney of $150,000, with $100,000 to the winner.

Interestingly Blue Hornet’s prizemoney now sits at $233,760. His last run, a fourth at Albion Park to Tony Zammit’s Go Bing last Thursday, took his tally past that of Champagne Sally ($233,618).

The champion bitch achieved that amount over 87 starts. Blue Hornet has raced 65 times to date.

Mary said Champagne Sally was still her ‘best dog’,

“She was just fantastic,” Mary said.

“She held three track records (her 34.43 mark for the 600m at Albion Park still stands). And she won a (Group 2) Topgun Stayers.”

At the end of her illustrious career Champagne Sally went off to the breeding barn, and along came Blue Hornet (Sennachie – Champagne Sally).

Like his mother, Blue Hornet, has shown speed across a variety of distances and is also a track record holder (29.83 for the 520m at Ipswich, a record previously held by Champagne Sally).

“Champagne Sally’s biggest asset was that she was a leader and made her own luck,” Mary says.

“However Blue Hornet always seems to be finding bad luck. He is an incredibly unlucky dog.

“I thought that Blue Hornet was going to be a front-running dog, then he had a fall just out of the boxes over the 600 metres and really hasn’t jumped really well since then.

“Whether that is the reason that he hasn’t developed into a front-running-type stayer, I don’t know.

“He still gets out reasonably, just not great.

“It doesn’t matter how much ability a dog has, in my opinion, winning a race is at least 50 per cent  luck.

“Of all the dogs that I have trained, Blue Hornet is the unluckiest dog that I have ever had.

“He has been in plenty of feature race finals this year, but just hasn’t had any luck.

“So, it has certainly been a frustrating ride with Blue Hornet, especially trying to win a feature.

“I just feel as though he deserves a big race win.”

Mary Burman believes Blue Hornet still has the form and ability to achieve group one success.

Just three starts ago he ran a smart 34.77 over the 600m at Albion Park.

“I think the dog is still good enough to win a big race,” she said.

“He is going alright at the moment. He probably doesn’t have the sharpness that he had when he was breaking track records, but the 34.77 shows he is still in good form.

“He will be competitive if he gets the breaks.”

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