Highly talented speedster Kiss Me Ketut will be aiming to go one step closer to defending his Brisbane Cup crown when he contests heat three of the Group One feature at Albion Park tomorrow night.
Trained by David Burnett, the son of Bombastic Shiraz and Spiral Siyan took out last year’s race in a brilliant 29.82 from box six, defeating classy chasers Farmor Las Vegas and Battistuzzi.
Tomorrow night, the great grandson of the immortal Flying Amy, which took out the Brisbane Cup in 1995, will contest his heat from box eight, the same box he used to claim his qualifier last year.
Burnett emphasised that his greyhound is boxed exactly where he wants to be.
“He likes it out wide, the eight is probably his favourite box, so I think if he comes out alright he will be very competitive”, Burnett said.
“He loves the track and he has had three starts there for two wins. Last year’s race was the second fastest Brisbane Cup time so if he can just get back to that time, and with the way he has been trialling I think he is capable of doing that, then they have got to catch him.”
The black speed machine’s main dangers appear to be Bill’s Fantasy (1), which has won 18 races from 49 starts, and Grand Roman (4), which has recorded 12 wins over the track and distance.
Kiss Me Ketut comes into the Brisbane Cup series having had five runs back from an injury enforced spell. Burnett feels that his star sprinter has returned just as good as he left, despite being minus an extremity.
“He sprung a toe when he was up in Sydney in January and he just kept springing it because it wouldn’t tighten up. I had to end up getting it amputated.
“Initially he felt that it was not there but he is through that now and he is going as good as ever which is terrific.
“He only went a few lengths outside the Geelong track record three starts ago so if it is effecting him it is in a good way”, Burnett laughed.
Following on from his sublime 29.76 Geelong performance, Kiss Me Ketut contested a heat of the Group One Melbourne Cup finishing fifth behind Above All. He then returned to Sandown on final night and ran a brilliant second in the Cup Night Sprint behind Hostile.
Burnett believes that it is good form to have leading into the series.
“Last week’s race contained some class animals with the likes of Allen Deed and My Bro Fabio so to be up against them and being competitive was great.”
If Kiss Me Ketut makes it through to next Thursday’s $75,000 to the winner final it will be the eighth Group One appearance of his career. Should he go on to claim the 2014 Brisbane Cup he would become just the second greyhound to win the event twice with the only other dual winner being Tricky Creek (2002 & 2003).
Although Burnett said it would be excellent just to make the final, he believes Kiss Me Ketut has what it takes to make it all the way.
“It would be a terrific feat to make the final again. He did it last year when he had only just turned two years old but this year he will be at his prime.
“I know he has what it takes to win, he has just got to get out of the boxes and out in front. I think I have got a very good chance because I know I have a very good dog that is ready to go.”
There is a fantastic lineup of dogs contesting the other heats including Keybow, Happy Haswell, Awesome Project, You Can Talk and Iva Vision with Burnett rating the latter as the dog to beat throughout the entire series.
“Iva Vision is just a super dog, I’d like to be bringing him back with me. He is a local dog and he knows the track backwards so I think he is definitely the one to beat.”
The series has lost one of its main attractions with the freakish My Bro Fabio already withdrawn from his heat.
The six heats of the Group One Brisbane Cup are races three to eight at Albion Park tomorrow night. The first qualifier is set to jump at 7.26pm.
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