Up Hill Jill became Australia’s first female greyhound sprinter to surpass $500,000 when she won a heat of the Cranbourne Cup on Saturday night.
Only 27 Australian greyhounds have surpassed the half a million dollar barrier, including six females, with Up Hill Jill the only one of the six that isn’t a stayer.
Bred and owned by Rose Geall and trained by Rose’ husband David, Up Hill Jill has had 61 starts for 33 wins and 21 placings, while her prize money stands at $503,781.
Her record on the big stage is exemplary, having contested 13 Group events for wins in the Group 1 Topgun and Group 2 Laurels, along with nine placings. If she wins the Cranbourne Cup on Saturday night her earnings will surpass $550,000.
“She’s drawn in box seven and we always give her a chance because she has won or run a place in most of the group finals she has been in,” Rose Geall told SEN’s Jack Heverin. “Having said that, it is a really good field and there’s a lot of strong dogs in the race. We’re hoping she gets a good lead and that she hangs on.”
Up Hill Jill’s phenomenal early and mid-race speed is what sets her apart from most greyhounds.
“She’s got really good early speed out of the boxes and she (usually) races off down the back (straight) and sets up a good lead in front of all the other dogs, and that means it takes a strong dog to have to run her down. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t,” she said.
The Gealls breed about one litter per year from their property in Lara and, as well as Up Hill Jill, have bred a number of talented greyhounds including group class pair Sir Charleton and Striker Klinsman along with El Rio, who had 18 wins from 100 starts.
“We usually breed one litter a year, (because) we’ve only got the facilities and the time to do that many,” Geall said. “We love to spend time with the pups and this is very important for their upbringing, just to make sure that they’re confident and happy to be around people by the time they get to 12-14 months of age when they go to the breakers (to be educated). When they go to the breakers it’s a new environment again, and it’s easier for the breakers to break them in if the pups are confident and happy to be around other people.”
Rose said spending time with their pups starts virtually from day one.
“When the pups are in the back yard up until three months of age we are out there with them all the time. (From three months) they go down to the puppy runs down the back (of our property) and David is down there (interacting with them) at least twice a day. We also have a couple of owners of the pups who come down twice a week and spend time with them as well, and it’s really good because they just need that confidence and to be happy to be around people,” she said.
Up Hill Jill is currently second in TAB betting at $2.80 to win the Cranbourne Cup behind Poke The Bear ($2.70).
Australia’s all-time top-earning female greyhound sprinters (as at 07.02.2018)
1. UP HILL JILL ($503,801)*
2. BOGIE LEIGH ($488,355)
3. GOT A MOMENT ($477,626)
4. STRIKER LIGHT ($463,600)*
5. CINDEEN SHELBY ($443,895)