Bargain pup a winner

FUN TIMES: Wagga trainer Susan Burgess and granddaughter Chloe Gallagher, 4, at home with their favourite greyhound Hi Mate yesterday. Picture: Oscar Colman
FUN TIMES: Wagga trainer Susan Burgess and granddaughter Chloe Gallagher, 4, at home with their favourite greyhound Hi Mate yesterday. Picture: Oscar Colman

WAGGA nurse Susan Burgess knows that bargain hunting is not just confined to market stalls or shopping malls.

A passionate greyhound owner and trainer, Burgess yesterday revealed details of a special "two-for-the-price-of-one" deal she had obtained from Wagga greyhound breeder John Hartley.

"Robert Campbell and I bought one pup and (Hartley) actually gave us another one out of the same litter," Burgess said yesterday.

"We were really pleased."

Along with partner Campbell, Burgess is now the proud owner of promising speedster Hi Mate and another potential talented racer.

Bred to be a star, Hi Mate made a stunning racetrack arrival to bolt home by 7½ lengths in the Rules Club Maiden (400m) at Wagga Showground on Monday.

Literally bounding out of box four, Hi Mate led from start to fabulous finish, increasing his advantage with every powerful stride and clocking a slick 23.14 seconds in the process.

After destroying his rivals five days ago, Hi Mate will strive to make it two wins from two starts when he steps up to 525m for the RSM Bird Cameron Stake at Wagga on Sunday.

Fresh from his devastating debut victory, Hi Mate will be perfectly suited by the 525m on Sunday, but will find the quality significantly tougher.

Top bush trainers Lorraine Roy (Wallendbeen) and Rodney McDonald (Cowra) will be represented in the race by Maurmaree and Angry Ranga respectively, while Tiggerlong Love, Arizona Flex and Ray Ray are others with ability.

Despite the stiffer opposition, Burgess has the utmost confidence Hi Mate will be right in contention.

"(Hi Mate) pretty smart and is not a stupid dog either," Burgess said.

"He'd been trialling well beforehand and we thought he'd go well (on Monday)."

With the lucrative Leo Hartley Memorial series surely beckoning for Hi Mate later this month, Burgess yesterday showed she was intent on not planning too far ahead.

"We'll just take each race as it comes," she said.

"We might know more after Sunday."

For Burgess, Hi Mate has continued a wonderful association stretching back decades.

Originally from Broken Hill, Burgess was the leading trainer in the Silver City before moving to Wagga 15 years ago.

"I won races in Adelaide as well," she said.

Partner Robert Campbell is also far from a greyhound racing novice, with former star Westcape Lass his most illustrious racer of the past.