Young speedster ready to impress
BUTTERFLY Bandit's father is Brett Lee - the Black Caviar of greyhounds.
Brett Lee racked up $405,106 in prizemoney including wins in the Australian Cup, Adelaide Cup, Golden Easter Egg, Maturity Classic (all Group Ones) and Warrnambool Classic (Group Two) with staggering pacejust like his namesake, the former Australian Test fast bowler.
And today local greyhounds followers have the chance to see Butterfly Bandit, his promising one-year-old daughter, line up at 12.28pm in the $800 Betfair Blue Paws Maiden Heat 2 (411m) at Casino.
It will be Butterfly Bandit's first race and her Stratheden trainer Peter Simpson has high hopes for the young flyer, which is by Brett Lee out of Rumble Amour.
"Butterfly Bandit is a city-class dog," Simpson said.
"Every time we've trialled her she's done pretty well.
"If she wins (today) and does well in the final next Friday we'll probably send her to a trainer in Brisbane or Melbourne."
Simpson is excited at Butterfly Bandit's pedigree.
"Brett Lee was the best dog in Australia by a long way, winning over $400,000," he said.
"To buy frozen semen from Brett Lee will cost you $15,000 but me and my wife Helen are good friends with (AFL legend) Tony Lockett, who purchased that dog.
"We also rear some of Brett Lee's litter on our property.
"He was the Black Caviar of greyhounds and had a sensational career.
"Butterfly Bandit still has a long way to go - she's young and still learning.
"But when she gets it together she'll go okay."
Away from the track Simpson cannot stop living and breathing greyhounds.
He runs a rearing business on his Stratheden property with his wife and also heads a greyhound and greyhound semen transport business serving studs throughout Queensland and New South Wales.
Simpson covers up to 4000km every week .
"I'll leave at 3am on a Saturday and won't stop until midday on Monday," he said.
"While I'm away Helen does a great job rearing the greyhounds we get sent to us.
"I know a lot of dog people and that helps people place their trust in you.
"Helen's father was always around greyhounds and my mum and dad had greyhounds too so I've been involved with them for a long time."
The race meeting at Queen Elizabeth Park today will be the first at Casino since December 23 with the Betfair Blue Paws Maiden Final Mixed Final 411m next week worth $2000.
Simpson will have 13 running with Vomatron (race 10), Bit Persuasive (race 11) and Sobbing Promise (race 12) all rated good chances.
The Casino track had some bare patches re-turfed on December 24.
"We're the only TAB grass track left in Australia," Casino greyhounds secretary-manager Ron Herd said.