Bolt From The Blue In Thunderbolt Race

SEVENTY-six year old owner Frank Hession has all week to decide if he will make the trip next Sunday night from Sydney to Grafton.

David Brasch

14 June 2022

SEVENTY-six year old Frank Hession has all week to decide if he will make the trip next Sunday night from Sydney to Grafton.

Frank is owner of Fast Liar the likely favourite for next Sunday night’s $75,000-to-the-winner The Thunderbolt (350m).

Fast Liar (Fast Times-Kingsbrae Missy) exploded from the lids on Saturday night and led throughout to win his semi-final of The Thunderbolt in 19.74 beating Preston Lee by almost six lengths for trainer Charlie Northfield.

And then he came up with box two in the final to give Frank and Charlie added confidence.

“I watched the race on TV,” said Frank. “I’m reluctant to head to Grafton. I don’t want to cruel his chances.

“My mate John Lollbeck spoke to me after he won his semi-final and said I should come to Grafton for the final.

“It’s such a big race and worth a lot of money.

“But, I might still change my mind and go up. I’ve got a week to decide.”

Frank lives in a unit in Sydney but spent most of his life in country NSW and has successfully raced harness horses for many years.

“I will enjoy stirring up my harness racing mates about him going into a race worth $75,000,” said Frank.

He admits Fast Liar is the best greyhound he has raced but has a warning about his chances in the final.

“He can go up with the lids at the start,” said Frank. “Not all the time, but he’s done it in the past.”

Fast Liar has now won 19 of 38 starts and $42,000.

Grafton club president John Corrigan was buoyed by the fact six of the eight finalist in The Thunderbolt are locals.

“It’s almost like a Grafton Free For All,” he joked.

Robbie Andrews’ Integrity Mate won his semi in 19.87 wearing down Bodacious Star to win by a length and a quarter as the $1.45 favourite.

Andrews admitted he did not have The Thunderbolt as a target some weeks ago for his dog.

“After he won the 484 metre Beef Week Cup at Casino I thought we would press on to 500 metre races with him,” said Robbie.

“But, Charlie Northfield convinced me to switch him back to this race. I was around at Charlie’s property and we started talking about the race.

“That’s when we decided to go for it and here we are.”

Andrews believes Fast Liar, trained by Charlie, is the one to beat.

Former track record holder Orara Dan got a start as a reserve to beat Typhoon Sammy by half a length in 19.82 at an $8 chance for Gary Smith.

And joint track record holder Orson Allen scored by a head in 19.99 over a hard charging Diamond Jill for Evelyn Harris and his wide draw for the final gives him a great chance.

The Thunderbolt (350m): 1 Integrity Mate, 2 Fast Liar, 3 Typhoon Sammy, 4 Preston Lee, 5 Diamond Jill, 6 Orson Laurie, 7 Orara Dan, 8 Bodacious Star. Res: 9 Vamoose, 10 Hyperventilate.