By TERRY WILSON
PRECIOUS by name, precious by nature – that’s feisty greyhound Hope Sure Can, the pride of Sandra Hunt’s racing operation.
Hope Sure Can (Mepunga Blazer-Sure You Can) outgunned a smart field to win the Queensland Short Course Final (330m) at Albion Park early last month, beating Classy Zoro (Noel Murdock) and Barbie’s Beach (Wayne Scott) in the $12,000 event run on Gold Bullion night.
Hope Sure Can landed Hunt an $8400 windfall in taking out the semi-classic in 18.82 seconds, which represents a smart run given that the 2019 Short Course winner Wazza Who ran a track record of 18.50s when it won.
It remains to be seen if Hope Sure Can is to go on to bigger and brighter things because Hunt is pretty sure that winning over distances longer than 400 metres may be beyond the black bitch’s limits.
Hope Sure Can’s sire is former Albion Park 520m record-holder Mepunga Blazer, which ran 29.41s in June, 2018.
That time has been beaten only by champion Sennachie, who clocked 29.38s, 29.39, and 29.41s. during his domination of Queensland racing in 2019-20.
“But she won’t get 500 metres,” said Hunt after Hope Sure Can registered its 10th win from 13 starts in the Short Course, revealing that a slight step-up to 395m at Albion Park is on the cards.
“Hopefully we can go through the grades with her then.”
Based at Atkinson’s Dam, in greyhound territory near Gatton, Hunt said at the moment she has any number of short-course campaigners but will continue on hoping to find a strain that can get over 500 metres and beyond.
“In the past I had dogs that could run 500 metres. I did run second in a Group race with Top Story and I won a Derby with Franklin Style in 2010.
“That was a Group 2, but that’s about it.”
Now on to the bitch’s cute kennel name of ‘Precious’. How did that come about?
“Would you believe that? Precious? But she is precious,” said Hunt.
“I think it was because she was the smallest of her litter but the entire litter can be precious at times.
“They all have to have plastic muzzles because there are times when they get a bit agitated. The first thing they do is to get hold of whatever they can, like their mattresses and they take it out on them.”
Hope Sure Can is owned by Jason Phillips, of Toowoomba.