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  4. Trainer Christine Bourke excited by ultra-talented young litter

Trainer Christine Bourke excited by ultra-talented young litter

By Alex Nolan

Trainer Christine Bourke’s love of the greyhound is what gets her out of bed every morning but an ultra-talented young litter by Bekim Bale is giving her added incentive.

Among them are Shot The Sheriff, Beck And Call and Don’t Tell Helen, who at just 19 months old have hit the ground running at Capalaba.

All three recorded debut wins down the 366 metre straight led by Shot The Sheriff, who broke his maiden back in November.

Shot The Sheriff has recorded a further five wins and posted a personal best time of 19.73 seconds, with his only defeats coming at the hands of Tommy Hoyland Memorial winner Kismet Storm.

He returns to Capalaba on Sunday for the Merv Page Fifth Grade Final – which is race eight on the program – where he’ll again meet Kismet Storm among a group of in-form chasers.

Despite weighing in at 38.5kg, Bourke said Shot The Sheriff still had some maturing to do.

“There’s a big difference in the ages and I am honestly not sure we can beat Kismet Storm unless there’s trouble,” Bourke said.

“He’s a placid and relaxed dog, nothing seems to worry him much but he’s not a good beginner.

“I had hoped if I kept starting him at Capalaba he’d improve … he’s got a bit of track sense but I’m not sure whether it’s his size or whether he can’t get down in the boxes.”

Shot The Sheriff comes from a nine strong litter out of Bourke’s retired race bitch High Class Belle, who has continued a strong dam line going back to the now 12-year-old Pinata Belle, both of whom still live at Christine’s Ebenezer property.

Bourke has kept four out of the litter, which she bred in conjunction with trainer Greg Mellen, who is set to produce the remaining five at the races shortly.   

Shot The Sheriff
Beck And Call

Beck And Call set tongues wagging with a 19.68 second winning debut, while Don’t Tell Helen won her debut by more than 10 lengths then posted a time of 19.86 seconds at her second start.

“I broke them in and knew from day one that they had ability,” Bourke said.

“We always felt the mother was going to be a good brood bitch, so Greg spoke to me and asked if I’d be interested in going halves in a litter.

“David Brasch wrote the breeding report for us and he came up with Bekim Bale. I know he wasn’t a terribly popular sire, but he matched everything she had in her.

“Beck And Call sustained an injury at his second start but he’s fine and will be back on the track in a few weeks.

“Helen is a nice little girl. She’s not as fast as the other dogs but she’ll pay her way.”

Bourke’s involvement in greyhounds was sparked by her late husband Bruce, who had always taken an interest.

“One day he came to the shop where I was working and told me he bought a pup and that was the start of it,” Bourke said.

“Once we had one, we had two, then three and four and I couldn’t shake the bug.”

Bourke said at one point the family had a rather large kennel but for the time being, she’s happy to just have four.

“The love of the greyhound gets me out of bed in the morning,” she said.

Bourke said she was a big believer in starting young dogs off down the straight at Capalaba, particularly dogs that are large in stature.

“They have trialled at Albion and gone really well but, particularly with big dogs, you don’t want to push them too much,” she said.

“One of them is 37kg and the other two are 38.5kg and they’ve still got a lot of learning to do … I don’t think they’ll get much bigger, I hope.”

She said it was great to see the Capalaba club reaping the rewards of many years hard work.

“It has certainly gone ahead from the old days when we raced for $300 per win," she said. 

Races

1
1

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 12:08 PM

WAYNE HARRIS CLASSIC

2
2

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 12:27 PM

JUST GREYHOUND PHOTOS

3
3

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 12:46 PM

CORNERSTONE RISK

4
4

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 1:08 PM

TVATI GREYHOUND

5
5

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 1:33 PM

ALEC STEVENS LIFE MEMBER

6
6

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 1:57 PM

LEEROY ROGUE Open F

7
7

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 2:17 PM

TAB LONG MAY WE PLAY

8
8

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 2:37 PM

MERV PAGE 5th Grade F

9
9

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 2:57 PM

JOHN MURRAY LIFE MEMBER

10
10

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 3:15 PM

WWW.GREYHOUNDFACTS.COM.AU

11
11

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 3:41 PM

WYNNUM HAULAGE

12
12

Capalaba | Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club | 3:57 PM

GREYHOUNDTIPS.COM.AU