By Isaac Murphy
Just Terms last seven starts include two podium finishes in the Group One Top Gun and the Group One Bold Trease and victories in the Newcastle Cup and Group Three Christmas Cheer, the two and a half year old has tackled everything put in front of her by husband and wife team Jodie and Andy Lord and is a big chance in the heats of The Gold Cup at Albion Park this Thursday night.
Andy Lord said the burgeoning star always wanted to stay and has continued to improve with each run, a scary prospect for rivals.
“She was always going to stay, when we first put her over the distance, she handled it like a veteran winning at Dapto over the 729, a really tough distance and she did it easy by almost twelve lengths,” he said.
“After that we just kept taking the next step and she’d improve that little bit every time, I think in about three or four months you’ll see a really complete Group One stayer.”
Conventional training wisdom sees a lot of young greyhounds held out of staying trips because of their age but the Lord’s didn’t subscribe to that theory.
“We could tell before she started racing she’d eventually want to stay, but I’d always been taught to not step them up until they’re two and a half years old, but with what she’s done she’s proven that’s just a myth,” Andy Lord said.
“I firmly believe they’re born stayers and if I was lucky enough to get another one like her I wouldn’t hesitate to get them up there at eighteen months.”
“We even skipped the 600 with her, they can still get knocked about over that distance and we wanted to see what she had at what is now her pet trip.”
Lord said Just Terms was the consummate professional her versatility and willingness to chase putting her in the company of Group dogs like Tornado Tears and Boom Down at an early age.
“She’s as honest as they come, she’ll go through a field, she’s not a bitch that needs an inside or outside draw, the only thing that’s beaten her in a couple of big races in Victoria is experience and that will come,” Lord said.
“She’s never seen Albion Park, so that’s another first for her, but she hadn’t seen The Gardens either where she came out and won the Newcastle Cup a few weeks ago, she handles tracks first up very well.”
“I’m really not surprised that she’s racing against and beating seasoned stayers at her age, in the end it comes down to ability and she can run time which puts her in the frame for any race, she doesn’t know who she’s racing she can’t read a form guide.”
Just Terms form lines couldn’t be better running over the top of recent Group One winner Blue Moon Rising in a Wentworth Park invitational, a sign she’s making a well-deserved name for herself.
“We’re coming in with good form she was invited to the 2019 Group Three Christmas Cheer at Wentworth Park which was a four-dog race where she gunned down Blue Moon Rising,” Andy Lord said.
“It says a lot about her standing that she’s getting invites to races, it’s nice when you see your peers and people in the know showing a bit of faith in her.”
Things don’t get any easier for the chaser in this week’s heats lining up against the likes of Jeff Britton’s True Detective and Robbie Britton’s track record holder Tornado Tears, but Lord likes his chances from a cosy draw.
“The one is the ideal box for her first look, after this week it probably doesn’t matter, but hopefully it can help her get up in the front half early and there aren’t many that will run past her in the last hundred metres,” he said.
“In the series we’ve put her through so far she’s always found another two or three lengths in the final, we’d love to see her qualify this week and give herself a chance.”
While Just Terms holds sway as number on greyhound in the kennel former Queenslander Spookie Vision who is now with the Lord’s will try his hand in the Heats of the Gold Bullion on Thursday night too.
“He was advertised for sale and a syndicate we train for picked him up and he’s done quite well for us making a couple of Group finals, he’s probably a bit short of winning one but we love having him in the kennel,” Andy Lord said.
“I think you’d class him as a very workmanlike dog that gets the best out of himself.”
“He’s quick early and from the red with his experience at the track, you get out and lead and there’s a scrimmage he gives himself a chance.”
Renowned for his early dash and short steps late in his early career the dog has turned into a serious performer for the kennel.
“He’s added a few strings to his bow since we’ve had him down here, he’s won his last two Free For All’s at Wentworth Park and actually came from behind to win,” Lord said.
“I don’t think he can afford to do that against this field though, we’ll be looking for him to lead.”
Both Jodie and Andy have spent a lifetime in greyhound racing and have used their success to build on their property at Gunning, outside of Canberra.
“We’ve been all over the place, we’ve trained in New Zealand and I trained out of Sydney for a number of years, but we always owned this property and have spent a lot of money over the last six years to have the setup we do,” Andy Lord said.
“We breed a lot of dogs, as well as training so we’re always busy, but it’s good to be on your toes.”
“We’ve had a good run and won a lot of prize money over the last five years, most of that goes straight back into the operation at home, but we’re hoping we can keep a little extra now.”