$100 purchase Give Us Peace is primed to deliver a group of seven first time owners the thrill of a lifetime when the Charmaine Roberts-trained sprinter takes her place in Monday afternoon’s Bathurst RSL Soldiers Saddle Final (520m).
Purchased as a three month old puppy for a mere $100 at the same time connections secured litter-brother Give Us Double for $500, Give Us Peace (Awesome Project x Kaliska) lines up in Monday’s Soldiers Saddle Final as a formidable chance, following her ultra-impressive semi-final victory, leading all-the-way in a slick 30.08.
Winner at six of her 10 appearances, Give Us Peace has drawn box six for the time-honoured feature, with syndicate manager Neil Baker explaining six – and perhaps even seven – of her fanatical owners will be trackside Monday for the $10,000 to-the-winner finale.
“We are all very excited – six of us will definitely be there but one of the owners lives up at Nambucca Heads so he’s a work in progress,” said a delighted Baker earlier this week.
“We’re having a great ride – the seven of us are either friends from school or past or present work colleagues, there’s a connection somewhere between us all and with the two dogs racing we are having plenty of fun together.
“We put the syndicate together with the plan to buy a pup from Craig Ryan at Wellington who a few of the guys in the syndicate had known from their school days. We had settled on buying a black dog (Give Us Double) for $500 and when we turned up to get him Craig said to us we could have the bitch (Give Us Peace) for an extra $100 so we thought why not? We couldn’t really go wrong.
“I’d known Charmaine (Roberts) for some time and she’d given us some advice on the breeding and agreed to rear the pups for us – as owners we’ve been really learning about the sport as we go,” added Baker.
Winning on debut in a best of night 23.04 at Dubbo in early August, Give Us Peace landed the $5,000 to-the-winner Lesley Ann Leonard Final at the same venue in late October.
Following Monday’s Soldiers Saddle semi-final victory, Give Us Peace’s (or Minnie as she is more affectionately known) prizemoney has soared past $10,000 – her $100 purchase price now nothing more than a distant memory.
“To be truthful when we bought the pups and got the syndicate together we would have been satisfied being competitive in a Dubbo race or maybe win a race or two. Never would have we dreamed of this.
“Charmaine has been a great help and is teaching us along the way – she keeps me informed and then I text the other guys – we’re all very excited heading into Monday, without being over confident of course.
“At no stage has any of us had a backward thought about being involved (in the industry) – we are putting a kitty together and next year will look to buy another pup or two, we’re all well and truly hooked!
“The boys don’t mind a drink either so if she wins on Monday there’ll be some celebrating going on – hopefully she leads – the best thing about being in front is it’s pretty hard to find trouble!”
Setting the time-standard for Monday’s ripping finale is the Vic Sultana-trained Sky Wave, the daughter of Don’t Knocka Him maintaining her unbeaten record with an outstanding 29.79 semi-final display.
Winner of the Maitland Future Stars in brilliant fashion last month, Monday’s Bathurst success was Sky Wave’s sixth on the trot, making a seamless transition to 500 metre racing in the past fortnight.
The remaining semi-final on Monday was taken out by Ray Smith’s hugely talented galloper Little Digger, the son of Fernando Bale winning by a widening 8 ¾ lengths in a fast 29.90.
Victory by Little Digger in Monday’s final would deliver Smith back-to-back Soldiers Saddles, landing the 2016 staging with Midnight Treat.
Bathurst RSL Soldiers Saddle Final – 520m
1. Elmargordo Stephen Francis
2. Luminescence Grant Miller
3. Pride Of Charlie Peter Sims
4. Ask King Jeff Sam Sultana
5. Dynamical Lesley Hannaford
6. Give Us Peace Charmaine Roberts
7. Sky Wave Vic Sultana
8. Little Digger Ray Smith