Gold fever continues at Bendigo on Wednesday night with Meeting 4 of the Bendigo Gold Rush Carnival (April 2-12), which features seven race fixtures over 11 days.
Bendigo Greyhound Racing Association’s Lord’s Raceway will resemble a ‘greyhound goldfield’ with eight heats of the Group 2 MTD Bendigo Cup (430m) and four semi-finals of the Rocky Ridge Farm Gold Rush Maiden (430m).
Group race king Darren McDonald, of Devon Meadows, will be ‘panning’ for more ‘gold’. He has Pure Love and Gardam Prince in the Bendigo Cup heats and Arapilies, One More Ruby and Ned’s Pedro in the Gold Rush Maiden semi-finals.
Pure Love (13 wins from 28 starts) and the undefeated Gardam Prince (nine wins from nine starts) are facing their acid test in the $26,000-to-the-winner cup series. But it should be noted that Gardam Prince holds the third-fastest time ever (23.75sec) at Bendigo.
It will be their first black type event, which comprises myriad racetrack stars – including Group race winners Fedex, Hanify’s Impact, Kendale Bale, Major Mission, North Sea and Vee Man Vane. Fedex and Hanify’s Impact are prepared by Jason Thompson, of Pearcedale, who won last year’s Bendigo Cup with megastar El Galo.)
McDonald also is ultimately chasing a $10,000 first prize in the Gold Rush Maiden. A total of 24 heats were conducted last Thursday and Friday.
A half share in Ned’s Pedro recently went for $14,500 at an auction to raise funds for the Kinglake football and netball teams, and he made a pulsating race debut in a heat. Ned’s Pedro clocked a sizzling 23.78sec – the sixth fastest sprint time on record at Bendigo and around three lengths off the 23.61sec track record, set by former speed king Slater on December 5, 2006.
One More Ruby, a litter sister of Ned’s Pedro, and Arapilies posted 24.18sec and 24.43sec heat wins respectively. All three youngsters are by McDonald’s champion sire Where’s Pedro.
The Bendigo Cup and Gold Rush Maiden finals will be held during a dual code (greyhound/harness) meeting on Easter Sunday, April 12.