MERV Papworth has been dabbling in greyhound ownership for many years.
The best he's had in the past was a promising Bekim Bale dog who won a few Victorian provincial races before developing some poor box manners.
It prompted Merv to do some research and buy up market.
He paid $3000 for a just-born pup by Fernando Bale-Amy Lyndan by Dyna Lachlan.
The litter was bred by long-time Northern Rivers dog man Terry Jordan and his wife Lyn. The dam Amy Lyndan (Dyna Lachlan-Miss Kay Tee by Bit Chili) could run like the wind.
She went sub-25 seconds for 431m at Ipswich and broke 30-seconds for 520m at Albion Park. Few do it.
It prompted Merv Papworth to admit to Terry Jordan he had underpriced those Fernando Bale-Amy Lyndan pups by half. According to Merv, they should have been $6000 such was their quality.
Merv had contacted the Jordans with his desire to buy one of the pups when Amy Lyndan was just a few weeks into her pregnancy. He admits he thought he would never hear from Terry again.
But, Northern Rivers dog folk are true to their word and Terry rang Merv just four days after the pups were born with the offer of selling one of them.
Merv asked the colours and went for a dark brindle dog.
On Saturday night at Wentworth Park, that pup, now racing as Fernando Blaster, will line up as favourite for the Group 1 National Derby and Sydneysider Merv Papworth and all his family will be on hand to watch him race for glory.
Merv knows only too well it is a dream come true to have the favourite in the Derby. The 29.61 heat victory last Friday was the first time Merv had seen his dog race.
Saturday night will see the entire Papworth clan in attendance.
Merv's sisters Joan and Bonny have embraced the dog and greyhound racing becoming real fans. They just love it, says Merv.
Friday night was the first time Merv had met Terry Jordan. Merv and his family arrived at Wentworth Park and parked their car, unknowingly, right alongside the Jordan vehicle.
Merv Papworth went for a pup out of a classy race bitch and his decision is being repaid with a quality youngster in Fernando Blaster.
But, the cross put together by Terry Jordan, and his great mate Mark Wilkes, to produce the litter is inspired.
Mark too picked out a brindle dog for himself and he races from the Tony Brett kennel as Painted Picture.
He has already won the Eric Thomson Maiden, Mick Byrne Memorial and been a finalist in the Group 3 Ipswich Gold Cup and placed in a heat of the Group 1 Brisbane Cup.
Putting a Dyna Lachlan bitch to Fernando Bale is inspired and already proven.
Group 1 Australian Cup winner Hecton Bale, and his litter brother Group 2 Cranbourne Cup winner Mossimo Bale, are bred on this cross.
It is, of course, a reinforcement of the Wheeler family's famed foundation bitch Gail's Beauty via the direct damline of Fernando Bale. Dyna Lachlan's dam Benden Flex is in-bred to Gail's Beauty.
But, there is much more to Fernando Blaster than just this reinforcement of Gail's Beauty.
Awesome Assassin, sire of Fernando's second dam Rosemary Bale, is bred on a very similar cross to Oxley Magic the second dam of Amy Lyndan.
Anyone who is at all interested in greyhound pedigrees will know that Fernando Bale's success at stud is based almost entirely around intense in-breeding to his dam Chloe Allen.
This is exactly how the Derby favourite is bred.
Fernando Blaster went into his heat of the National Derby without a run on the Wentworth Park track. It can be a recipe for disaster for many youngster, but a couple of vacant boxes inside him in the heat helped Fernando Blaster.
No Derby is won by fluke and Fernando Blaster, off box one, gets his chance to join many greats to have won the race.
He certainly goes into the final with a pedigree second to none.
And the Merv Papworth cheer squad will be out in force on Saturday night ... there's no doubting that.