Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett.AUSTRALIAN Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett admits he knows little about greyhounds.
He’s just glad Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt knows plenty.
Kihael Kaluna is Hunter thoroughbred syndicator Australian Bloodstock’s first venture into greyhound racing and was bought for $120,000 after the company’s Melbourne Cup win with Protectionist last year.
The black dog had won his first two starts but then finished eighth, seventh and eighth for his new owners.
A reserve for the group1 Vic Peters Memorial Classic (520 metres) heats two weeks ago, Kihael Kaluna was gifted a start by a scratching.
Now the 2-year-old is favourite for the $75,000-to-the-winner final on Saturday night at Wentworth Park.
Kihael Kaluna won his heat in 29.83 seconds and semi-final in 29.69 to be the fastest qualifier for the decider.
After a draw in box three, he was the $2.50 favourite with NSW TAB.
Lovett said the group of loyal Australian Bloodstock clients were thankful to Gatt for getting the best out of their dog.
‘‘It kept getting tonsilitis and knocking up, so the trainer took his tonsils out, which I didn’t know you could do,’’ Lovett said. ‘‘But certainly whatever he’s done, it’s worked.
‘‘He’s running the times, he’s favourite for the final and he’s drawn good, so you’d have to think we are some hope Saturday night.’’
Jockey Brenton Avdulla, who will ride Magic Artist at Flemington for Australian Bloodstock on Saturday, is among the owners.
‘‘He’s racing a group 1 dog with us Saturday night and he’s riding a group 1 horse for us in the Mackinnon during the day,’’ Lovett said. ‘‘Let’s hope he’s in a bit of form.
‘‘There were a few of the blokes who wanted to get into the dogs, and by virtue of them racing horses with us, we got into it. I don’t really know the reasoning behind it, but they are glad they did now that he’s back winning.
Gatt was confident of Kihael Kaluna’s chances in the final.
“He’s definitely capable of winning here, but he’s got to come out well,” Gatt told thedogs南京夜网. “He’s a mad railer, and last Saturday night he had box one. Everything was in his favour.
“I’m hoping he gets on the fence quickly and shows his good turn of speed.’’
Gatt was also grateful for the chance to get it right with the expensive buy.
“I haven’t felt pressure to get results,” Gatt said.
“I’m confident that what I’m doing will work.
‘‘The owners have been great so far and I really thank them for their patience.”
Heddon Greta trainers John and Daniel Flanagan have surprise packet Explosive Madame in box one. It was $41 with NSW TAB on Friday.