By Isaac Murphy
Gelantipy Gold has been more than just a greyhound for Selena and Michael Zammit of late, with the kennel favourite providing some much-needed joy for the iconic racing family after the loss of Selena’s father, respected dog man Jeff 'Silk' Jones.
“Gelantipy Gold had always been one of Jeff’s favourite dogs and losing him a couple of weeks before he won the Clem Jones Cup was really emotional for us knowing how proud Jeff would be,” Michael Zammit said.
“Jeff always used to say if he was younger he would have always put a bitch to Gelantipy Gold, such was his nature.
“Even if he doesn’t go on to win another race that will always be a very special night for us.”
Gelantipy Gold is the gift that keeps on giving for the Zammits.
The four-year-old has collected more than $100,000 over more than 100 race starts and will have a chance to add to the tally in tonight's G3 Queensland Cup.
“He’s a really good each way hope from the draw,” Zammit said.
“I don’t know if he can lead them but if he can be in the first three of four he can certainly hold his position anyway and runs a strong 600.
“He has run a 34.82 out of box one over the 600 before, albeit a while back, but if you stack that up against the heat times he gives himself a real chance.”
Zammit said the dog had given the camp a real thrill finding form at this stage of his career.
“It’s pretty special for us to have him racing as a live chance in a Group Three at this point in his racing life,” Zammit said.
“We’ve had a crack at this race a couple of times before with him without much success, so to make the final at four and a half years old is pretty remarkable.”
Zammit said the dog was like another member of the family at home, with a beautiful temperament, but it could sometimes be forgotten how good a race dog he continues to be.
“What can be forgotten sometimes is how consistent a race dog he has been, over one hundred starts with over $100,000 in prize money he’s probably underrated,” Zammit said
“The biggest pay check of his career came only a couple of starts back when he won the Clem Jones and he’s still going strong.”
While Gelantipy Gold has put together an impressive career high profile kennel mate Double Gee is only gaining more prominence in Australian Greyhound Racing winning The Group Two Summer Distance Plate Final at Wentworth Park last Saturday night.
“It was always the plan to go to the Distance Plate, the further the better for him,” Zammit said.
“He’s an out and out stayer and always has plenty of dogs in front of him, so he really needs the distance to track them down.”
“We were a bit fortunate with the withdrawal of favourite Poco Dorado but there’s been plenty of times over the last six months where things haven’t gone his way, so you’ve got to be appreciative when you get a few breaks.”
“He may have a tune up at Albion either next week or the week after, before heading towards the Zoom Top at The Meadows, which is an invitational Group One in around three and a half weeks.”