TONY Brett says his greyhound Jury (Cosmic Chief x Velocity Sheba Mar ’15) is good enough to win the Group 1 National Sprint Championship (520m) at Albion Park next Friday night.
The black dog qualified for the $75,000 to the winner feature when winning the QLD Sprint final last Thursday night, leading all the way to score over Gunnadoo Rev (Shakey Jakey x Cruze Sep ’14) in 29.75.
It was his second straight win, having won his heat of the state final the week prior in 29.88, and his ninth victory overall from 18 career outings.
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Owned by Steve Williams, Jury was one of four greyhounds in the state final for Brett and, whilst most headlines focused on kennel mate Thirty Talks (Where’s Pedro x Unfinished Jun ’14), the leading Queensland conditioner said he gave Jury a massive chance of winning and booking a spot in the National decider.
“He was probably a bit overlooked against dogs like Thirty Talks – people were expecting a lot of improvement out of him after running third in his heat – but Jury was having his first 500 back from a spell in the heats so I knew he had a fair bit of improvement in him,” Brett told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He has come to hand very nice – he was probably a bit underdone going into the series to the extent that I was tossing up whether or not to put him in it.
“Because he is naturally very strong we decided to run him and he was able to get the job done which was great as we know he still has a bit of upside.”
Already a group finalist, having qualified for the Group 2 Ipswich Cup last year, Brett says Jury has returned to the track as good as he left after more than three months on the sidelines.
“He has always shown a lot of ability but he has had a few injury problems which required a bit of time off.
“He seemed to thrive with the time off and has come back as good as ever and being fresh for a series like this has probably been a blessing in disguise.”
Jury will start from box three in the group 1 final, coming up against a classy field including On Fire (Bekim Bale x Alana Blues Dec ’14), Max Profit (Fabregas x Belron Cedar Jan ’15), Bekin Street (Bekim Bale x Serisier Street Sep ’15), Bewildering (Black Magic Opal x Outlandish Feb ’15) and Aston Dee Bee (Barcia Bale x Aston Elle Apr ’15).
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However, whilst Brett is aware it will be a tough race to win, he says Jury has the massive advantage of racing on his home track.
“I was hoping for the one, two or three because I wanted him near the rails so I am happy with the draw,” Brett said.
“The boxes at Albion Park can be a little bit tricky and some dogs need a few looks out of them to get the hang of it whereas has been coming out well this prep.
“If he can do that again in the final it is going to put him right up there and if he is running in the 29.70s he is going to be hard to run down.”
The Group 1 National Sprint Championship is worth $75,000 and will be run and won at Albion Park this Friday night.