Novel training technique has runner primed for Dashi Dash
SCHOOLGIRL Amarni Vale has revealed the novel training technique that could get her pet pooch Teeka the win in the LJ Hooker Rockhampton Dashi Dash.
The second edition of the dachshund race will be held at Callaghan Park Racecourse from about 6pm on Friday following the Rockhampton Jockey Club’s Kids Christmas Race Day.
It has attracted 36 hopefuls, up by eight on last year’s inaugural event.
Reigning champion Harley, owned by Debra Wilkinson, is back to defend the title he won last year.
But Amarni, 10, believes her chocolate dapple Teeka will be a serious contender and will be ready and raring to go come the big day.
The Vale name is synonymous with horse racing; now this branch of the family is looking to make it as familiar within the dachshund racing ranks.
Amarni and dad Sammy employed a novel approach to have one year old Teeka in prime condition for Friday.
They would set themselves at opposite ends of the hallway in the family home, dad armed with a squeaky pig toy.
“Me or Winter (my sister) hold Teeka and we let go when dad starts squeaking the toy and she races down to it,” Amarni said.
“She’s a very energetic dog. Whenever you come and pat her, she just wants more.”
Amarni was keen to enter the Dashi Dash after cheering on from the sidelines last year.
“Dad took me there because my aunty was racing some of her dachshunds,” she said.
“We watched it and it looked pretty cool, so I thought why not try Teeka.”
Sammy said it was that same aunty – Bobbie Vale – who played a hand in Teeka becoming part of his family.
“With Bobbie breeding mini dachshunds for a few years and Amarni spending a bit of time there, she quickly became obsessed with them,” he said.
“After asking time and time again if she could get one and being told no 100 times, she rocked up from a sleepover carrying her new baby Teeka.
“Teeka is a very loveable, loyal and protective dog to all three of my daughters.
“She has a great relationship with Amarni and myself and will often sing in her own way when I return home from work.
“When Amarni asked me of our chances in the Dashi Dash, I simply replied: ‘We will be odds-on favourite’.”
The Dashi Dash will feature nine heats with four runners, three semi-finals with six runners and a grand final, also with six runners.
Teeka will start in Heat 8, alongside Bo Weir’s Ollie, Edan Stanton’s Rocky and Lyn and Brendan Dumesny’s Cyril.
The first, second and third placegetters will receive cash and prizes.
Gates open at noon for the Kids Christmas Race Day, which will feature the 2020 Ramsay Pharmacy Kids Fashion Competition, Christmas arts and crafts, a pony petting zoo, the Patlaw Securities Sprint Race for the Kids and a visit from Santa.
There are also nine horse races on the program, the first jumping at 12.34pm.
Admission is free.