ENZO Crudeli may not have won a heat of the Group 3 Young Stars Classic (520m) at Cannington last Saturday night, but the prominent WA conditioner will still have a strong hand in the final with three members of his kennel set to do battle.
His leading chance appears to be Group 3 SA Derby winner Black Bombshell (Barcia Bale x Tearsabout Tears Aug ’15) which finished one and a half lengths second in his heat behind the Paul Stuart-trained Mandjoogoordap (Collision x Ritza Night Feb ’16) which won her way into the final in 30.05.
Black Bombshell, a winner of nine of his 20 starts, was having his first start in three weeks in his heat, with Crudeli expecting him to strip fitter for the run.
“He has had a couple of weeks off so he needed the run – if he can improve a little bit off that run he is going to be right in it,” Crudeli told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He seems to miss the start a bit at Cannington – but he can come out on his night and we will be working on that this week to hopefully get him coming out for the final.
“He hasn’t reached his full ability in WA yet, but I am confident he will and hopefully it will be next Saturday night when he does.”
Crudeli will also be represented in the final by Backpacker Jack (Cosmic Rumble x Serash Bale Sep ’15) which ran a nice race off box six to finish second behind fastest heat winner West On Augie (Fernando Bale x Te Amo Feb ’16) which stopped the clock in 29.91 for Chris Halse.
“I was very happy with his run – he ran a bit of time when finishing second and he was underdone too so I think he can find a bit,” Crudeli said.
“He is only young, but he is a very hard chaser and he has plenty of strength so if he can get in just behind the leaders he will be a chance.
“Unfortunately he has drawn wide in the final, but apart from the five there isn’t too much speed in the race so hopefully he gets a cart across early.”
Rounding out Crudeli’s shot at the title is newcomer Nice Garry, a litter brother to Black Bombshell, which was having just his second start on Saturday night.
The blue dog jumped well and was able to lead throughout most of the race before being tackled by West On Charlie (Kelsos Fusileer x No Recall Oct ’15), finishing one and a half lengths behind the winner and clocking 30.33 in defeat.
Although he will be giving away plenty of experience to some of his rivals in the decider, Crudeli explained he has done a marvellous job just to make the final field.
“I was very impressed with him – he only won his maiden the week before so it was a massive effort just to qualify.
“He isn’t overly strong, but he has good speed, he rails well and he seems to know what he is doing. He put a fair gap on them in the heat and it took a good 600m dog to catch him.
“To do all that at his second start was great – he obviously still has a bit to learn but I couldn’t be happier with him.
“The others are more seasoned than him and he is out in the six, but he can muster quick.”
Crudeli said it will be a hard final to win this Saturday night, but says he gives his greyhounds a chance of capturing the title.
“We didn’t win a heat, but we got through to the final and anything can happen once you are in there – if you get the luck you win.
“The good thing about my three is they can all begin, so if one of them gets out in front you never know.
“Black Bombshell is probably the best chance of my three. Even though they all have ability, he has more experienced and he has raced some good dogs throughout his career and performed well so you’d have to go with him.”
Crudeli could be in for a massive week, with his Group 1 Perth Cup winner Equanimity (Barcia Bale x She’s Historic Mar ’15) making the trek across to Sandown Park this Friday for the heats of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup.
A last start winner of the All Stars Sprint at Cannington, Equanimity trialled in a moderate 29.93 over the 515m trip at Sandown on Thursday night – a time which wasn’t of too much concern to his trainer.
“He broke 30 but he got a bit lost. He will improve off that for the heats this week – he has done most of his racing at Cannington so going to a new track he needed the look and I think that will be an advantage for him.
“He won’t be the fastest in the heats, but he has early speed and the first 100m makes or breaks your chances. If he lobs in front and the others get caught up back in the field they may not be able to catch him.”
Group 3 Young Stars Classic – box draw
1. Waterloo Monelli
2. Benny Monelli
3. West On Charlie
4. Black Bombshell
6. Nice Garry
7. Backpacker Jack
8. West On Auqie
9. Black Fusileer
10. Poppy Monelli