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Veteran stayer Burnt Ends has plenty of gas left in tank

Race-7-Burnt-Ends-DSC-8191-jpg.JPGBy Jordan Gerrans

Veteran trainer Jeff Ahern thinks his Clem Jones Cup hopeful Burnt Ends is bit like him – getting on in age.

While that is true - Ahern is 71 years of age - the experienced dog man says the son of Fernando Bale still looks as good as he ever has deep into his racing career.

Ahern trained and lived in Queensland – based in Stafford to be specific - for over 40 years and has now housed his kennel at Casino for the last decade.

The conditioner is enjoying a quiet life in Northern NSW these days, it is not as hot as it is in Brisbane and there is less traffic, he says, as he prepares a much smaller team of dogs than he previously did.

Burnt Ends, who ran third in the 2021 Listed Gold Cup Final at Albion Park, was once a sprinter in his early days but as he has progressed through his career, he is strictly a stayer now.

With limited staying options in northern NSW, Ahern has looked towards the Listed Clem Jones Cup this Thursday evening at Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club before a likely second straight run at the Gold Cup Final, which has been upgraded to a Group 3 event this year, later on in the TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival.

Burnt Ends has drawn the green alley for the 710-metre event on Thursday.

“He is getting old like me,” Ahern said with a laugh when asked about the Red Fawn Dog.

“He looks a treat though, the old dog, he gets looked after well.

“He is basically as good as I can get him now.

“He would prefer to be on the inside rather than the outside in box six.

“He has got to ping out, most of his wins have come from leading.”

Races

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Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:37 PM

Clem Jones Cup (L) F

Race-7-Burnt-Ends-DSE-9165-jpg.JPGBurnt Ends is a litter mate of Kooringa Lucy, from a Fernando Bale and Mitcharlie Mia litter, who will contest the Group 3 Golden Ticket match race series also on Thursday night.

Nearing four years of age, Burnt Ends has a career best time of 41.74 seconds around the longer journey of Albion Park.

Owned by Luke Mason, Burnt Ends has been an excellent dog for the kennel over the years, winning over $100,000 in prize money, including seven victories at Albion Park with three being over the 710 metre trip.

“My word he has been a good dog to me,” the trainer of 53 years reflected.

“About 12 months ago he was racing against some of the best stayers and went close to winning a number of races.”

At his height of his training career, Ahern had around 15 dogs in work in Brisbane but in 2022 he just has the one - Burnt Ends – as well as another coming back into work after being on season and five young pups who are six months old.

The Clem Jones Cup Final is stacked with interstate talent with Victorian dogs Gypsy Wyong and Knicks Bale joined by NSW-based trainer David Richardson’s dual-pronged attack – Double Bluff and Barsandi.

Ahern is especially wary of  Gypsy Wyong, who is looked after by top trainer Andrea Dailly.

The Anakie-based Dailly tasted Group 1 success with Shima Shine in 2021 in Queensland.

“These Victorian dogs will be hard to beat, they are hard to beat at the best of times,” Ahern said.

“They are good dogs from down there.

“The one of Dailly’s looks very good, having won the Group 1 Bold Trease.”

The 2022 Group 3 Gold Cup Final will be run early next month with heats to be held next Thursday night at Albion Park, with Burnt Ends’ path towards the race to depend on his performance in the Clem Jones Cup.

Burnt Ends
Kooringa Lucy