"Hot" Pup Hands Dart Overdue Pop Northfield Win

JOHN Dart had "heart failure" when the registration papers arrived and he suddenly realised just how old a fawn Aston Dee Bee pup he had was.

David Brasch

28 October 2021

JOHN Dart had “heart failure” when the registration papers arrived at his Dulguigan training property on the Northern Rivers and he suddenly realised just how old the fawn Aston Dee Bee pup was.

“Carolyn Knox bred him and sent him up to Glenda and I a few months ago,” Dart said. “Carolyn had sent me dogs for years and I’m training Peltzer for her now. The pup came with a good braking in report.

“We started trialling this dog not knowing for sure how old he was.”

Those trials included a 23.50 and then scorching 23.27 over 411m at Casino.

“Young dogs don’t go much better,” said John. “I liked it so much, I pressed on to a couple of 484 metre trials and he went 27.90. I couldn’t believe it.”

That’s when the registration papers turned up and the Dart kennel realised the Aston Dee Bee pup was just 15 months of age.

Carolyn had named him Commands Respect. John and Glenda already knew the pup had a great racing name.

“We were going to toss him out of work but then I realised the Pop Northfield Maiden was coming up at Casino and the opportunity was not to be missed,” Dart added.

Commands Respect slipped coming out of the boxes, was stopped in his tracks mid race, then sat three and four wide throughout before storming to the front near the line to win Thursday’s time-honoured Pop Northfield final (411m) in 23.44.

He downed Brad Northfield’s Mort For Short by three-quarters of a length with Charlie Northfield’s Kingsbrae Huxley in third.

Punters realised the Dart youngster lived up to his name by making him the $2.80 favourite.

“I’ve been coming to Casino for 53 years, since I was 15, and have always wanted to win the Pop Northfield,” John said. “I remember driving from Grafton to Casino when the road was gravel.”

Commands Respect, royally bred by Aston Dee Bee from Sheez My Chicki, is a half relation to the classy Fernando Bale litter that includes Ice Cream Story and Lock Master.

“He’s come this far now, we will probably keep him in work for a Thursday night Novice at Albion Park then give him a break,” Dart added.

Dart said Commands Respect is typical of the Aston Dee Bee progeny. “Lovely laid back dogs, but mental chasers,” he said.