By Andrew Thomson
After the best part of five months on the sidelines, boom Victorian sprinter Shima Shine is back to his best and sure to feature in upcoming feature races.
The black 36kg Barcia Bale-Shima Song dog has had 27 starts for 17 wins, picking up $183,000.
He caught the attention of pundits winning nine of his first 11 starts to be a rising star in Victoria.
Those wins included a 25.09 second run at Ballarat, Warragul 25.64, track record 24.75 Ballarat, Bulli 26.05 and 29.60 at Wentworth Park.
But, he cracked a pelvis in the final of the Silver Chief on January 4, forcing Shima Shine to have almost all of January and February off.
He returned to run second at Sandown in late February before having all March off and ran last at Sandown in April before not resuming until late May.
Owner David Gleeson said his star chaser had almost five months off with a cracked pelvis and then a severely split webbing.
The black speedster returned to the track in late May with a solid 25.12 win at Warrnambool before stopping the clock in 23.44 at Bendigo.
He then dead-heated at Shepparton with Warrnambool Cup winner Zambora Smokey in a stunning 24.91.
He broke the track record in the heats of the Bendigo Cup in 23.35 before an interrupted run in the final to finish third behind Yozo Bale.
He was then crashed during the early stages of an outing at Horsham, taking until the first corner to get clear, but still managed 26.99, just two lengths outside Orson Allen\’s record.
Gleeson said repairing bone injuries was all about time and trying to promote blood flow as much as possible.
\”During the time off he also got the greyhound coronavirus as well and lost a couple of kilograms of weight,\” he said.
\”It\’s just taken time to get over the injuries, to get race fit and firing … to be back to his best.\”
Gleeson said with a clear run at Horsham he was sure Shima Shine could have got close to the track record.
\”He had never been to Horsham. It\’s a serious run with no where to hide,\” he said.
\”He\’s the best dog I\’ve had and his mother was a fantastic bitch. She had 66 starts for 21 wins and 28 placings, picking up $288,000 in prizemoney.\”
The owner also had the ill-fated Shima Bar.
\”He was a red-hot dog. Won the Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park after never being there but managing to get into the final,\” he said.
\”He only had 21 starts for 12 wins.
\”From absolutely limited services he\’s thrown a couple of very good pups. Tiger Time is only 19 months old and ran 23.72 at Bendigo, which is sensational for a young dog.\”
Gleeson said Shima Shine would now follow the cups/feature race trail.
\”It\’s pretty exciting now that he\’s back and solid and has all those injuries behind him,\” he said.
\”He\’s a dynamic chaser. His run in the Bendigo Cup was just enormous. He ran into the back of a bus, forced his way through and was very unlucky not to win.
\”He\’s as fast as there is in certain spurts. He\’s right up there with Simon Told Helen and may be a bit more consistent than Zambora Smokey.
\”All six pups in his litter have won races, with Shima Tune having outstanding ability but he\’s had a lot of injuries.\”
Gleeson has always believed that a strong bitch line is crucial to successfully breeding greyhounds.
Shima Song goes back to Famous Portrait, Nikki Bairn, Del Bairn Babe line which through champion sprinter Tangairn.
\”Shima Song\’s second litter are 16 months old by Mepunga Blazer. He was a very good dog and he has the advantage of being out of the extremely strong Barry Smith Mepunga bitch line,\” he said.
The third litter is a repeat mating by Barcia Bale and they are almost six months old – one dog and three bitches.
\”They eat like jackhammers and the bitches are beautiful,\” Gleeson said.
\”Shima Song was retired when she was three years old. On McKenna Memorial night so she\’s only six now.
\”I like the litter by Mepunga Blazer. He ran 29.29 at Sandown at just his third career start, had a best time of 29.64 at The Meadows and ran 29.41 at Albion Park.
\”His dam Mepunga Nicky was also very, very quick. She was an exceptional race bitch.
\”It\’s the cross of two outstanding bitch lines.\”
Gleeson also had nothing but praise for the Dailly Kennel.
\”You just couldn\’t find better blokes than Tom and George and Andrea is a brilliant trainer,\” he said.
Pearcedale trainer Karen Pitt has unearthed a talent in the Hallinan syndicate owned Zipping Albert.
The Over Limit-Zipping Midge blue dog has had four starts for four wins, clocking 23.74 at Bendigo and 25.75 at Warragul.
He\’s picked up almost $14,500 in prizemoney and looks to have a bright future ahead.