By Isaac Murphy
Zipping Cosmo’s price for Thursday nights Racing Queensland Young Guns Final at Albion Park is hardly reflective of her form. Back to back seconds at huge odds in the Ipswich Futurity Final and Young Guns Heat and a dominant win at Ipswich on Saturday night has trainer Barry Kitchener’s loyal Pound Lika Hound syndicate owners confident of another blowout result.
Starting at $51 the bitch stormed home in last week’s heat finishing over the top of Ray and Mary Burman’s Master Douglas and just behind litter mate Dynamite Lucy. Kitchener gives the versatile chaser a big show from box five.
“She has the ability to be quick out of the boxes and lead like she did at Ipswich on Saturday, but it’s a different class of field and from that middle draw I wouldn’t mind if she missed it and tucked in behind them,” he said.
“If she can get around that first bend in the front half, you can expect to see her in the finish that’s for sure.”
Kitchener picked up the two-year-old via loyal owners from the Pound Lika Hound syndicate headed by long-time owner and greyhound enthusiast Blair Guthrie who Kitchener is ecstatic to be getting some results for.
“I met the guys from the syndicate through mates in the industry and started off the partnership with one of their brood bitches which is due with a litter on Melbourne Cup day,” he said.
“They’ve sent me several dogs which we’ve just had rotten luck with, so to have her producing the results she has in the last few weeks is just rewards for their continued faith.”
Guthrie said the bitches past few results had the group made up of high school mates, work friends and even his Mum over the moon and not worried about the underdog tag Thursday night.
“It’s been unreal. She just keeps getting better and better, we’re pinching ourselves at the options she’s opened up for herself,” Guthrie said.
“She doesn’t seem to jump as well at Albion Park as she does at Ipswich, so we’re actually hoping she can drop in behind Hammer Down. If we’re in six or eight of him going down the back he could be in a bit of trouble.”
“There’s no respect for her in the market, which is water off a duck’s back for us. She was $81 running second in the Futurity and $51 running second in her Young Guns heat last week. I know one of the blokes in the syndicate couldn’t believe he was getting $9 the place about her this week.”
Guthrie founded the syndicate around four years ago and despite feeling the ups and downs, said the group never lost hope and think they’ve found a winner in Zipping Cosmo.
“We’re always keeping an eye out for the next one and spotted her (Zipping Cosmo) on the Greyhound Data site. Her bloodlines really stood out and hopefully after she wins a few more races she can go on to be a brood bitch as well,” he said.
“We’ve definitely had our lows along the way with a few promising a lot early and not delivering, but she seems to be doing the opposite there’s plenty of optimism amongst the group.”
Kitchener said the bitch was incredibly slow to mature and was worried he would have to tell the syndicate she couldn’t make the grade, but said it was night and day from when she first arrived.
“She’s improved out of sight from early on. We had a few trials and slips at Ipswich and to be blunt they were pretty damn ordinary, which was really disappointing considering the money the guys had put into the industry,” Kitchener said.
“To put a time on it, her first trial over the 431 metres at Ipswich was 25.90 and now she’s running 25.20, that’s not just a couple of lengths it’s been a huge jump.”
Zipping Cosmo’s recent runs certainly stick out when going through her form, but Kitchener said he could see things slowly coming together behind the scenes and drew some sound advice from some of Queensland’s biggest names.
“As good as her last three runs have been it’s no fluke. Everything she’s been doing is indicating she’s building up to tackle better races,” he said.
“She’s grown a lot in relation to her field sense as well. She’s got a good head on her shoulders and does her best to get around or under them. Wherever there’s a gap she’ll take it.”
“I’m very fortunate in that I can lean on guys like Tony Brett and Tommy Tzouvelis for advice where to place her. I was thinking of heading to the Hume Cup but after a few wise words stayed home and we’re reaping the rewards.”
Selfless to a fault, Kitchener still feels he owes Pound Lika Hound a lot more and believes he’s ready for some bigger assignments post Young Guns.
“Going forward my main goal is to reward the boys in the syndicate with a few feature results. Second in the Ipswich Futurity was great, but we don’t want to stop there provided she comes through Thursday well. I think we’re all in agreement she’s earnt a shot at the Ipswich Cup,” he said.
“To see her run almost identical time to Wise Misty last Saturday night gave us that affirmation that she’s up to the next level.”
“It was also her first time out of box one which we’ll be hoping for a bit more of because she loves to dive left out of the boxes and worked a treat Saturday.”
A second-generation greyhound man Kitchener takes a lot of pride in his work totally self-sufficient with his operation.
“I’ve only got a small team. I always breed and rare my own. I went through the whole process with Zabdon Ferrari who Tony (Brett) put the finishing touches on and when you get a bit of success it gives you that buzz to keep going.”