LIGHTNING Frank will be out to give hobby trainer Mathew Wright the biggest victory of his career when he steps from box five in Sunday night’s Group 1 Silver Chief Classic (525m) at The Meadows.
Rated a $3 shot with William Hill, Lightning Frank comes into the $100,000 to the winner event on the back of two successive wins in his heat and semi-final of the series, with the latter being a phenomenal 29.66 effort off box one.
The son of Melbourne Cup champ Black Magic Opal and Kirabilli Abbie led all the way in his most recent effort, with a similar beginning sure to see him feature in the final.
Wright says he is very impressed with his star chaser and is expecting another strong performance when the lids fly open on Sunday.
“He has always shown above average ability, but he is really starting to find his feet now on the city tracks,” Wright told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“Because he is a big striding dog I was always a bit concerned in the back of my mind whether he’d handle the two-turns, but he has done so no worries and he is starting to show everyone what he can do.
“Hopefully he can push up in the early stages, if he can do that he is definitely in with a chance because he is a pretty smart dog.”
Despite having a stack of ability, Wright concedes Lightning Frank will have to do everything right to salute, particularly given he can be hit and miss at box rise.
“He is a smart dog field-wise – even if he is back in the field he seems to take the right runs at the right times.
“He is a pretty impressive dog, but with that being said he can’t afford to be giving them too much of a start in a race like this.
“Thirty Talks has been very impressive in his heat and semi-final – he got in a lot of trouble and he probably wasn’t entitled to win either of them but he found a way. If he can hold his spot early then he is definitely the one to beat.
“But if my bloke can get on the bunny you wouldn’t think there would be too many dogs which could run him down. His biggest worry is that the dog on his outside wants to get to the fence a bit so if he can’t hold him out then he is going to be in a bit of strife.”
Lightning Frank is the star of Wright’s kennel, with the Allansford-based trainer only keeping six in work at a time.
“My father trained dogs for more than 20 years and I always helped him out – but I took over probably five or six years ago.
“We generally just breed our own dogs and race them, from time to time we train dogs for other people which is how we got this fella and he has turned out pretty good.
“It would be a huge thrill to win it and we would be happy for the dog too – he has always shown ability so to take out a race like this would be great.
“It’s pretty rare to get a dog with his ability when you are a hobby trainer, so it is definitely a thrill to be there.”
The Group 1 Silver Chief Classic is race eight at The Meadows this Sunday and will jump at 8:07pm.
Group 1 Silver Chief Classic – market
1 – Thirty Talks $2.75
2 – He’s Loaded $23
3 – Rockstar Troy $16
4 – Matt Machine $4.80
5 – Lightning Frank $3 with William Hill
6 – Lorenzo Blue $34
7 – Reefton Treasure $4.80
8 – Duty Free $31