TONY Brett will have a triple shot at landing the Ipswich Cup (520m) on Saturday night when the lids fly open for the group 3 feature.
The leading mentor has Thirty Talks (box one), Jury (box two) and Zabdon Ferrari (box six) in contention for the $31,500 first prize, with Thirty Talks the $1.70 favourite with William Hill.
A son of Where’s Pedro and Unfinished, Thirty Talks was breathtaking in his heat last Saturday, overcoming a moderate beginning to score by 10 lengths in 30.03 – just 0.02 off the track record held by Brett’s former champion, Queen Lauryn.
“I was wrapped with his run last week,” Brett told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“If he had of pinged the lids on Saturday and gone straight to the front then he probably would have broken the record and that’s saying something because I raced Queen Lauryn and I never thought I’d see a dog get close to it.
“I have always known he had that sort of ability, but he just needs that little bit of luck early.
“Unfortunately he has been drawing bad boxes lately and hasn’t had much luck, so to see him get get a bit of room to move last week and then to be able to do what he did, I was over the moon.”
A winner of 18 of his 30 starts, Thirty Talks looks ideally positioned in box one, however Brett concedes he will still need a bit of luck in the early stages.
“Last time he had box one in a big final (Vince Curry) he mucked up the start and there is a chance that could happen again because he is that way inclined.
“But with that being said I have been screaming out for an inside box for him so I am not going to complain about it.
“Even if he can begin with them and hold his spot around the first turn then it is still going to put him in a good position.”
Also representing team Brett is sensational speedster, Zabdon Ferrari, which overcame an uncharacteristicly-slow beginning to win his heat in 30.43.
The black dog is in tremendous form, having won a prelude of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (515m) three starts back in 29.33 at Sandown Park, following up that run with a third in his heat behind Barton Bale.
“He is so consistent – he just does what he does and he has got enormous ability,” Brett said.
“Last week was his first start back at Ipswich for a long time and he fluffed the start badly.
“He had to exert himself to find the front and he was a little bit jaded after his run, so he has had a quiet week at home. That means he will need to lead, he won’t be able to come from behind.
“However, I think if he comes out in the final, which I know he can, he can lead the race, and while there are some strong dogs in there he can rattle off a pretty good time himself.
“I have got no doubt he can match it with the best dogs going around.”
Brett’s final contender for the feature is Jury, which comes into the final with just seven starts to his name from which he has recorded four wins and two minor placings.
The son of Cosmic Chief and Velocity Sheba clocked a fast 30.37 in winning his heat and moves into box two for the final, however Brett says he will be giving away plenty of experience to his rivals.
“He is constantly improving. He is only a young dog; he isn’t even 20 months old yet so we are very excited about him.
“He needs to learn and I figured he may as well learn against good dogs. If I put him in a fifth grade he would probably get barrelled, but the good dogs tend to run truer.
“He can run the times, he was the second fastest qualifier which I was thrilled with, but experience counts for a lot once you get to the big finals.
“It will be tough on him this week against dogs which have done it all before, but he is young and silly so he probably won’t know any better.
“If he happens to pop out of the boxes and run a 5.32 section like he did last week then he is going to be right near the front and if he can do that he won’t know that he is in against experienced dogs and he will be right in it.
“He is probably a (double figure) chance but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him lob out in front and run a great race.
“He is a smart dog, I am impressed with him and this time next year who knows where he could be at – if you are running 30.30s at Ipswich at 19 months of age it arbours well for the future.”
While his greyhounds are primed for the task, Brett says it will be an extremely tough race to win.
“The pick of my three is Thirty Talks – box one is worth its weight in gold in group finals, so I think the race is his to lose.
“But Major Jackpot (box eight) is a group dog – I am sure he will be back down in Victoria with Anthony Azzopardi in the not too distant future – and he is probably one of the fastest dogs Bob Cooke has had.
“Then you have a dog such as Not Like Tommy (box seven) who has run 30.27 at Ipswich and while he will be giving away a bit of a start, if a dog like him or Cyndie’s Magic (box four) gets within a couple of lengths of dogs like Fabulous Bill (box five) or Zabdon Ferrari then they will be hard to hold out.
“There is also a dog in there called My Awesome Magic (box two) which is a litter brother to Zabdon Ferrari and he has nearly as much ability – if he happened to lead I would be surprised if he got run down.
“It is a great field; you can’t afford to put a foot wrong.”
The Group 3 Ipswich Cup is race eight on the card at Ipswich this Saturday night and is set to jump at 7:31pm.
Group 3 Ipswich Cup – market
1. Thirty Talks $1.70 with William Hill
2. Jury $8.50
3. My Awesome Magic $23
4. Cyndie’s Magic $20
5. Fabulous Bill $13
6. Zabdon Ferrari $5
7. Not Like Tommy $41
8. Major Jackpot $5
1st res. Apatite $20
2nd res. Whata Nice Size $34