POLIJUICE Potion will have to produce a career-best performance this Thursday night if she is to win the Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park.
Trained by Ian Cockerell, the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Finlandia was impressive when winning her heat last week in 34.34, however she will face a tougher task this week from box five.
Despite the challenge ahead, Cockerell says he is happy with his bonny bitch heading into the $25,000 final.
“It was a good run in her heat,” Cockerell told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She didn’t get it all her own way, she got pressured by White Bandit for half of the race, but she got away down the back straight and showed what she is capable of.”
The victory took her career record to 17 wins and 19 minor placings from 65 starts, collecting just over $130,000 in prize money earnings.
Despite her brilliant record, Cockerell concedes it will be tough to win the final against a field including Aeroplane Tommy (box two), Buck Forty (box three) and Dundee Osprey (box eight).
“Box draws play a big part in dog racing and her past few boxes have been terrible,” he said.
“She seems to draw the middle a lot and when she is in over 500m she tends to get drawn on the outside which makes it near impossible for her to win.
“Box five this week makes it really tough because she has a lot of pace coming down from the outside.
“I think Dundee Osprey is drawn perfectly in the eight and he should get a nice cart into the race.”
However, if she does get some luck in the early stages, Cockerell says she has the ability to match motors with the best of them.
“If she gets a little bit of luck she is more than capable.
“She really needs to get to the front because she has a flat spot in the middle of her race – if she doesn’t get touched there she can run the hands off the clock.
“She has run 33.70-odd at Sandown Park previously and she is still capable of running those sort of times.”
All going well, Cockerell has plans to target the upcoming Group 1 Sale Cup (650m) with Polijuice Potion and said another crack over the longer trip is also on the cards.
“After this race she will probably head to Sale over 650m and if she runs that out we will give her a go over 700 at Sandown – she seems to prefer racing there compared to The Meadows.
“She only had two goes over the 700 and that was at The Meadows, so we will probably give her another crack at the staying trip but we will see what happens.”
The Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial is race six at Sandown Park this Thursday and is set to jump at 8:55pm.
Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial – market
1. Dublin Bull $15
2. Aeroplane Tommy $7
3. Buck Forty $2.60
4. Dash Of Rose $21
5. Polijuice Potion $8 with Crownbet
6. Star Torana $11
7. Mepunga Rosie $23
8. Dundee Osprey $2.70