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Kitchener kennel mates craving the Dashing Corsair

By Isaac Murphy

Race-6-Zipping-Cosmo-DSD-4638-JPG.JPGZipping Cosmo was the feel-good story of 2019 for Barry Kitchener and the Pound Lika Hound Syndicate.

The dog went from average fifth grader to Albion Park Young Guns and Group 2 Futurity winner in a matter of months, with her get-back run-on style endearing to many.

The last six months haven’t been quite as easy, thrust into open class company she just hasn’t been getting the breaks.

 She has been joined by Zipping Blondie - another Pound Lika Hound purchase - who will tackle the Listed Dashing Corsair heats this week, and Kitchener thinks they’re due for a bounce back in form.

“Zipping Cosmo and Zipping Blondie - which I refer to as the old firm now - have been a bit frustrating lately, they’re still trialling the house down but just haven’t managed to translate that into race form - something the Dashing Corsair heats can hopefully turn around,” Kitchener said.

“Zipping Cosmo just can’t seem to get around the first turn without finding trouble at the moment, whether that be 520 or 600 metres, with her racing style you’ve just got to ride out these dry spells.

“Zipping Blondie was the opposite last time over the 710 at Albion, for the first time in her life she led, but burnt out late - she’s still learning.”

Left scratching his head over the shorter journeys, Kitchener steps Cosmo up to the 710 metres for the first time in her career, hoping a strung-out field will suit her style.

“We thought with Zipping Cosmo why not give her a go over the 710 metres, it’s not going to do her any harm, she’s as fit as she’s ever been and hopefully gets some kind of clean run where she can build some momentum,” he said.

“If she can get around those first two bends, I’m really interested to see what she can do over the trip because it could be a big part of her future depending how she goes.

“If I had it my way, I probably would have put Cosmo in box one and Blondie in box seven; Cosmo would just stick to the fence and Blondie doesn’t mind getting out the back and coming with that one late rush.”

Even when winning in Group company, Zipping Cosmo raced the smartest, not the fastest.

Furthermore, she would always seem to land just outside the thirty second threshold, something she broke in a recent trial despite poor race form.

“It’s really frustrating with Cosmo that she’s not getting a look in, I thought there might be something amiss with her, so I trialled her and she went 29.90 which is the best she’s ever gone - it’s all about patience,” Kitchener said.

“When she put it all together to win the Young Guns and the Futurity, it happened in a matter of months, she went from a restricted class bitch to an open class greyhound very quickly.

“We were able to capitalise on that and win the Group 2 Futurity with her in a race where she had the right box draw and everything worked out, since then she’s just struggled against the best of the best up here.”

Albion Park

FABREGAS @ STUD Bogie Leigh Futurity (G2) F 520m

The Pound Lika Hound Syndicate bought Zipping Blondie almost directly after Cosmo’s Futurity win, and the bitch immediately looked like a stayer, though it’s taken a measured training effort to get her ready for the 710 this time.

“We’re going in a lot smarter with Blondie this time, I intentionally dropped her back to the 520’s and built her back up to the 600 before she strikes the 710 this week in prime condition,” Kitchener said.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work with her in trying to even out her sectionals, she usually goes for a stroll early and storms late but we think she’s got a little more tactical speed in her races now and won’t gas herself out in one section.

“She’s a picture of fitness, she had her third 500 in five days when we trialled her earlier in the week and she went 30.14 which is exceptional for her over the sprint trip, she could be the big improver at a price.”

It’s a blessing and a curse racing a slow beginner like Zipping Cosmo; the wins are spectacular but the defeats are hard to watch, luckily Kitchener’s owners are more than appreciative of the challenges they pose.

“I’ve always said to Cosmo’s owners with most good bitches you only usually get fifty starts out of them and she’s broken through that barrier already and looks to have plenty left,” Kitchener said.

“They’re greyhound people themselves and they understand you’re not always going to have runs like we had, but I see no reason she can’t turn it around the second half of her career.

“The entire Pound Lika Hound syndicate just love watching both of them race, Cosmo has already exceeded expectations and beyond, as long as she comes back sound then they’re happy.”

While Kitchener is all about making those first four qualifying spots in this week’s Dashing Corsair heats, he wants to make the most of Cosmo and believes a trip north would be just the tonic.

“The plan with Cosmo is to get her up to a Townsville Cup; Fireball Sam is an ex-Tony Apap dog and has been almost running the track record up there,” he said.

“We’d like to think we can mix it with her and it’s another chance to put a black type race next to her name when it’s all said and done.”