Jury gives Tony Brett a $75,000 birthday present

Jury wins the Group 1 National Sprint Championship at Albion Park. PIC: Box 1 Photography.

TONY Brett received the best birthday present of his life when boom youngster Jury (Cosmic Chief x Velocity Sheba Mar ’15) took out Friday night’s Group 1 National Sprint Championship (520m) at Albion Park.

The series attracted a stellar field to the Brisbane track including star Victorians Bewildering (Black Magic Opal x Outlandish Feb ’15) and Aston Dee Bee (Barcia Bale x Aston Elle Apr ’15), but when the boxes flew open for the $75,000 to the winner event it was all the local hope which pinged the lids and led all the way in a slick 29.88.

South Australian On Fire (Bekim Bale x Alana Blues Dec ’14) flashed home for second, with Aston Dee Bee rounding out the trifecta in third place.

“No bigger present than that, that’s for sure,” Brett exclaimed post-race.

“He did what he had to do and that’s what we were hoping for all week. If he could get out and jump and run somewhere near the time he did [in the QLD final] we knew he’d be hard to run down.

“It’s just an amazing feeling to win in front of your home town.”

Brett said there were a few tense moments throughout the race as gun sprinter Aston Dee Bee got straight behind Jury, but praised his dog for fighting off all challengers to claim his first group 1 win at start 19.

“There was a little bit of trouble out in the middle…you lose sight of them about half way up the straight but I knew he was going to be up there and when he came out [of the home straight] in front I thought ‘you beauty lets give this what you’ve got’.

“Seeing the eight coming from behind I was worried if we were far enough in front, but Mick Zammit [trainer of no.2 Gunnadoo Rev] came to me on the home turn and said ‘you’ve got this’ so we pulled the whip and away we went.”

Jury has now won 10 races from 19 career outings, with his prizemoney in excess of $125,000 for his owner and breeder Steve Williams, head of the Velocity Lodge Syndicate.

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It was an especially remarkable effort given it was just his fourth start since resuming from a lengthy injury-enforced spell, with Brett impressed with his ability to rise to the occasion given his race fitness heading into the series.

“He went into this underdone. He was ready in himself but he wasn’t ready for the 500 – he hadn’t had a 500 leading into the QLD heats so he has just excelled and I couldn’t be prouder of him and what he is doing.

“He is loving his racing at the moment. He had a dog like Aston Dee Bee chasing him but he held his own so I was proud of that and it just shows that he is up to chasing some nice races.”

Brett said he is unsure what he will target next with Jury, with the leading Queensland trainer now turning his attention to far north Queensland on Tuesday where he has a three-pronged attack on the Group 3 Townsville Cup heats.

Also sharing the group 1 spotlight on Friday night was champion race bitch Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14) which broke the hearts of her rivals in the National Distance Championship.

Drawn perfectly in box one, Fanta Bale took up the early lead and held off all challengers to defeat a fast-finishing Burn One Down (Buck Fever x Fancy Jaffa Jan ’14) in a slick 41.71.

The Robert Britton-trained superstar has now won six group 1 features – the National Distance, the Hume Cup, the Australian Cup, the Rookie Rebel, the Sandown Cup and the Albion Park Gold Cup – with her prize money rapidly closing in on the $900,000 mark.

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