Sovereign Wind In Line For Great Chase Prize

SOVEREIGN Wind will look to cap off a meteoric rise through the grades with victory in Wednesday’s Group 3 Great Chase Final at The Meadows.

Adam Dobbin

19 October 2020

EMERGING middle distance chaser Sovereign Wind will look to cap off a meteoric rise through the grades with victory in Wednesday’s Group 3 Great Chase Final (525m) at The Meadows.

But to do so the son of Fernando Bale will need to overcome arguably the hottest field ever assembled for the race, a lofty statement given the enviable honour roll the event boasts, including last year’s winner, champion sprinter Simon Told Helen. 

“It’s a very hot race – if my dog is going to be a chance he can’t afford to put a foot wrong,” said trainer Des Douch.

THE MEADOWS FIELD AND FORM

“But he’s come through last week’s run in great order and I couldn’t be happier with him. If he comes out like he can and doesn’t get touched he’s a chance. He’s very strong, probably already looking for 600.”

Sovereign Wind is a son of Fernando Bale out of Douch’s former top chaser Brueghelino.

Brueghelino, from an outstanding litter which included top flight chaser Big Flood among others, was always destined for the breeding barn.

But as Douch explains, while this current litter including Sovereign Wind are beginning to produce some mighty results, early doors things were looking grim.

“They broke in awful to be honest – terrible,” Douch said.

“Not just Sovereign Wind – all of them. And their early trials were terrible as well.

“In pre-training Sovereign Wind was running 25.60 at Sale. The other week he went 24.60.

“They just needed time and a lot of patience. We had to turn them out when they contracted the greyhound virus earlier in the year and as it’s turned out it was a blessing in disguise.”

On Wednesday at The Meadows, Douch is hoping that time and perseverance pays dividends when Sovereign Wind steps out as one of the favourites for the $47,000 to-the-winner Great Chase decider.

Last week the exciting prospect made it six wins from 10 starts with a slick 29.88 semi-final win, cementing his position as the fastest qualifier for the final.

The start earlier he qualified for the Great Chase semi-finals with a come from behind Warragul win over fellow finalist Earn The Answers in 25.67.

“That was a huge run at Warragul to run down a dog the quality of Lyn’s (Earn The Answers),” Douch explained.

“My dog is still on the up and to win Wednesday against that field he’ll need to improve again.

“I’m just hoping Dr. Tucker (5) and Earn The Answers (6) don’t get him early and he gets his chance to find a spot.

“The run of Equalizer to win last week for Jason Thompson was huge as well – and he’s got the red.

“It’s not going to be an easy race to win. But we’ll be there giving it our best.”

As has been the case since the inception of the race in 2003, Wednesday’s Great Chase Final will see 22 Victorian community groups that care for the intellectually or physically disabled vie for $24,000 in funding.

“It’s a great initiative and makes being in the race even more rewarding,” Douch said.

“Whatever the result, the winning connections will have earned it.”