Family Tradition At Stake In Warragul Cup

PETER Galo will be looking to uphold family tradition in Saturday's Warragul Cup and deliver trainer Garry Selkrig a third win in the group 2 race.

Adam Dobbin

9 January 2020

EVERGREEN sprinter Peter Galo will be looking to uphold family tradition in Saturday night’s Warragul Cup Final and deliver trainer Garry ‘Gus’ Selkrig a third victory in the group 2 showpiece.

Back in 2012, Selkrig landed the Warragul Cup with his prolific winning sprinter Stagger, while four years later, To The Galo’s was successful in the 2016 finale for the 64 year old Devon Meadows conditioner.

“I won it in 2012 with Peter Galo’s uncle Stagger, in 2016 with his half-brother To The Galo’s and I’m very confident he can win it in 2020,” boasted Selkrig.

Winner at 39 of his 63 career starts, Peter Galo, a son of Peter Rocket and Flossy, qualified for this weekend’s $47,000 to-the-winner Warragul Cup with a powerhouse 25.41 box one heat victory last Friday night.

“If you look at the facts and get serious about the race you’d say half the field is a winning chance and half isn’t,” Selkrig added.

“If the race is run cleanly then I give my bloke a massive hope from box two.

“Crimson Vixen looks the leader and I just need Peter (Galo) to be on the fence with clear running and out of trouble. If he is, than I really think he wins the race.”

The Selkrig-trained Peter Galo has endured an exasperating run of injuries throughout his career, the 2018 Shepparton Cup winner’s zest for racing true testament to Selkrig’s training capabilities, and of course, the dog himself.

“The worst injury was the bicep when he ripped it right out of the shoulder but he’s also had three split webbings, two monkey muscles go … and a few others,” Selkrig offered.

“To win 62 percent of his races in the company he’s been in I think shows what a great chaser he is. He either wins or goes down trying, he doesn’t run many placings.

“And I stand to be corrected but I can’t remember a time that a dog has ever gone past him in a race.

“It’s funny we almost sold him a year or so ago; we had him up for $60k and had a few people getting stuck into us for the price we asked. Well he’s won more than that since and is racing for $47,000 on Saturday so we’ve had the last laugh there.”

With the scratching of fastest qualifier Hooked On Scotch turning betting on its head for Saturday’s finale, race favouritism is headed up by Melbourne Cup hero Whiskey Riot at $2.50 from his box seven draw, winning his heat stylishly in 25.46.

Prodigious talent La Grand Quality, a 25.40 heat winner is quoted $3.60 from box six, with Peter Galo on the next line of betting at $4.20 from his box two draw.

“Peter Galo’s a box eight bandit but I can’t seem to draw it,” Selkrig pointed out.

“But the way the draw is, I think box two works for him on Saturday night. The best way to say it is I just don’t need him to put a foot wrong; if he gets the chance to run his race than I’m as confident as you can be in a race like this against such good dogs.

“I’ve kept him on the lead for the week; all he’s had is a walk around Cranbourne thoroughbred track with me on Monday. He doesn’t need to trial these days, he’s just a race dog. On Christmas Day it was just he and I down at the beach!”

Now four years of age, Selkrig isn’t giving up hope that during the course of 2020 Peter Galo can surpass his uncle Stagger’s remarkable winning record of 64.

“It’s possible but I’d need a good six months with him,” Selkrig stated.

“I’ve picked out a few good races for him after Warragul and then after that it will be finding races in veterans grade. As the saying goes, I’ll be keeping myself in the best company and the dog in the worst.”

Full of admiration for his star sprinter’s repeated comebacks from injury, Selkrig was at pains to point out the support provided by the dog’s co-owner Mark Burgin.

“Great owner to have on board,” Selkrig enthused.

“I met him when I had To The Galo’s and he’s been a terrific owner to deal with since.

“Before me he hadn’t had a lot of success with the greyhounds … hopefully we have some more on Saturday night.

“The dog’s in perfect shape for Saturday night; I couldn’t be happier.”