BOOM sprinter Above All is all set for his semi-final of the Group One Silver Chief Classic on Saturday night, according to his trainer Rob Britton.
The freakishly fast chaser had no luck in his heat of The Meadows feature last weekend, but ran a terrific race to storm home into second position late, narrowly defeated by Astromatic in 30.08.
“I think he caused his own trouble on Saturday night because he tried to get off a little bit at the first turn,” Britton said.
The black greyhound was dominant in the Apple Isle series, demolishing a high class field to seize the $75,000 first prize, smashing the existing track record in the process, running a scintillating 25.52.
“I went into the Hobart Thousand just hoping for a clear run, I wasn’t worried about the time, but I was very happy that he broke the record,” Britton enthused.
“He had trialled there beforehand in 25.84 and that was his very first go on a horseshoe or one turn track so I thought there would be improvement in him.”
Britton said he wasn’t overly concerned about the short back-up between the Hobart Thousand final and the Silver Chief heats. With Above All being a very lightly raced greyhound, Britton felt that he would be able to cope with the pressure.
“I really thought long and hard before I raced him with such a short back up. Coming into the Melbourne Cup he had two full weeks off without a trial and coming into the Hobart Thousand he had two full weeks off.
“I knew he would be very fresh going into Hobart and I felt that he was at the start of the campaign rather than the end of one, so I wasn’t worried about it too much.”
Britton said that Above All, a winner of eight races from 14 starts with three minor placings, had pulled up exceptionally well and is ready for his semi-final, where he will jump from box two in race 10. It will be a tough challenge against the likes of Astromomize (Box Four), Ultima Bale (Box Six) and Midnight Flynn (Box Seven), but Britton is confident his chaser has the talent to match it with the big guns.
“He is feeling really good. We had him down at the beach today (Monday) and we were walking him around in the water. He is on his toes and he is feeling good, I am really happy with the way he has pulled up,” he said.
“He is learning all the time, I am just hoping that he can get a bit of a clear run this week.
“If we get a clear run I am confident that he can run a great race.”
It should be a great night of racing on Saturday at The Meadows, with the four Silver Chief semi-finals the highlight of the card. The first semi is race four and will jump at 8:15pm.
Australian Racing Greyhound will have a preview of each semi-final in our regular tips column for The Meadows meeting on Saturday morning.