By Isaac Murphy
Champagne Sally is a greyhound known as one of the state’s most versatile chaser’s.
Ray and Mary Burman’s champion bitch holds track records over the 520 and 630 metres at Ipswich and the 600 metres at Albion Park and recently added The Group Two Top Gun Stayers to her resume.
“We were quietly confident heading down there (The Meadows), especially with Rob Britton’s big two out (Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam) we thought she would run well,” Mary Burman said.
“To see her come out and execute was a huge thrill, it was the biggest win of her career on the largest stage, we were rapt.”
But elation soon turned to concern for the Burman camp as Sally pulled up lame the next morning.
“It was a rollercoaster twenty-four hours, from winning the biggest race of her career then not knowing the extent of her injury,” Burman said.
“She damaged a tendon in her front leg, which thankfully could be removed, so we got that done straight away in Melbourne without any dramas.”
After a tailored rehab Sally is back and shapes as a big player in Thursday night’s Heats of the Box 1 Photography Group Three Queensland Cup, but will have to overcome a wide draw in a quality field to qualify for next week’s final.
“She won at Capalaba on Sunday which will hopefully give her a bit of confidence, but Thursday night is a different challenge on many levels, especially drawing the eight,” she said.
“We’ve been working her pretty hard up our 330-metre uphill straight at home and her times have been good, but she hasn’t been around a corner since the Top Guns in November so that’s the unknown.”
Burman said Champagne Sally along with kennel mate Magic Hornet, who races in heat two, will have no margin for error from their outside draws.
“Both her and Magic Hornet (6) are greyhounds who excel off inside boxes, so we’ll need some luck,” she said.
“I think for both to be a chance they have to carve across and lead.
“Neither of them are known for coming from behind, so we’ll be hoping for a bit of luck in that first 100 metres.”
Burman said Champagne Sally would ideally have a few more runs under the belt before tackling a feature.
“Sally may well be short of a run, but with four going through from each heat hopefully she can qualify and take benefit from the run to the final,” she said.
“In saying that they’re excellent fields, The Clem Jones last week was a deep race and they’ve only got stronger for the heats.
“The aim is to get her back to the 700, but we’re not looking past Thursday night at this stage.”