Frank Hurst calls it “a bit of a fluke.” Others may consider it great luck, and some even would say it was fate. Regardless of the label, how Frank and his wife Tracey came about TAB Million Dollar Chase favourite Good Odds Harada and fellow semi-finalist Good Odds Buddy is a great story.
Good Odds Harada and Good Odds Buddy, along with their brother Feral Franky and sister Solar Sky, will all contest the semi-finals of the rich event at Wentworth Park on Friday night, each just two victories away from winning their connections $1 million.
The siblings are all from that litter … the Collision-Solar Pak litter with Hurst and fellow trainer Jack Smith each having two of the four in their kennels.
As the series now gets to the pointy, serious end, Hurst revealed how he came about securing the pair.
“It was bit of a fluke how we bought them,” he said. “We had a good bitch called Good Odds Angel - she won 15 in town, and was in all the Group races - and she was on season and I had a straw to Collision.
“But the vet told us her count wasn’t good enough, so he couldn’t inseminate her, so we didn’t use the straw.
“At that time we looked around and we had no pups coming through at all.
“It was then that I remembered a bloke I knew who had a couple of pups by Fernando Bale, out of Solar Pak - her first litter – and they had broken in hot.”
That mating of Solar Pak with Fernando Bale in 2015 produced a litter 10 pups – six dogs and four bitches. All 10 have won, seven of them in the city, and between them - Little Digger (27), Nino De Oro (15), Off The Leash (14), Zagati (12), Twenty Tamar (13), Manila Kampyon (16), Phoenix Pak (10), Latitude Zero (10), Franky Pak (6) and Pixel Pak (6) - they have won a staggering 128 races.
“I also knew the next litter were three months old and they were for sale.
“So I went and rang the bloke who had them and I said I wanted to buy four. He said I’ll sell you two.
“So I went and got the two, a dog and a bitch, and then two weeks later he rang me back and he said you can have another two if you want.
“I told him I don’t really want them. I don’t want the ones nobody else wants that you can’t sell, and told me there were five there for me to pick from and he would give me a bit of discount on the second two.
“So we ended up buying four … which we were going to buy originally.”
The bitch they bought is now known as Good Odds Meghan, a winner of 11 races. That first dog, Hurst is not sure. It was either Harada or his brother Good Odds Snake, who tragically fractured his pelvis as a pup.
“They were both grey brindle, Snake and Harada, so it could have been either, and the other was in the second two we bought, along with Good Odds Buddy,” he explained.
“When we went back my grandson Mason came with us. He was only four at the time, and he walked up to the yard and Buddy came running up to the fence and started kissing him, and my grandson was kissing him back, and I said: “well we better take him home,” and that’s how we picked Buddy.”
Good Odds Buddy has now won 13 of his 36 starts, and took out the Dapto Regional Final of the Million Dollar Chase. He has drawn box three in semi-final four, and meets talented Victorian Shima Shine and Paws Of Thunder winner Buck’s Future.
Good Odds Harada is one of the country’s leading sprinters, finishing second in the National Sprint Championships in Perth in August, winning his Regional Final at Bathurst, winning last Saturday at Wentworth Park, and has amassed an amazing record of 10 wins, eight seconds, two thirds and a fourth, from his past 21 starts.
Harada, who has won 17 of 39 starts in total, will jump from the seven box in heat three.
The 2017 Collison litter with Solar Pak (pictured) has now produced eight winners, for 78 wins - Freak Franky (19), Good Odds Harada (17), Good Odds Buddy (13), Good Odds Meghan (11), Solar Sky (8) Freaky Franky (5), Inversion (4), and Guapo (1).
“I didn’t have the chance to pick Feral Franky,” Hurst revealed. “The two Frankys (Feral and Freaky) were both gone by the time I got there.”
The two pups were selected by Lindsay Niccol who bought the then two month old pups for his daughter Lyndall McIntyre.