When Beau Hedley’s sensational chaser Avondale Porche left his Cooranbong kennels earlier this month to join Kel Greenough’s team in Victoria, many were left wondering as to who would take her place as Hedley’s group race contender. That question was well and truly answered on Tuesday night at Gosford, with Hedley’s newest kennel addition Can Of, clocking a near record time of 29.35 over the 515m journey.
Jumping beautifully from box three, the son of Magic Sprite and Lizzi Jay Bee quickly sped to the lead at the first turn, gapping his rivals by thirteen and a quarter lengths and recording brilliant sectionals of 16.76, with a run home of 12.59.
Can Of caught the eye of spectators during his outstanding maiden victory at The Gardens, where he clocked a flying 29.61 over the 515m. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the 28kg lightweight, as his debut performance for Hedley at Maitland was far from impressive, finishing seventh over the 450m distance. Hedley admits it was time that was essential for Can Of to perfect the art of racing.
“For the first 6 to 8 weeks, he was doing everything wrong at home and on the track and all of a sudden it’s just seemed to click with him and now he’s a different dog.” said Hedley.
“I honestly was a little surprised he went so quick at Gosford, but I’m really excited by how well he’s going and hopefully he keeps it going heading into some big races. He was disappointing at Maitland and seems to relish the two turn tracks a lot more. I will be taking him to Wentworth Park in the coming weeks to get him ready for the Peter Mossman Classic and I think that track will suit him well.”
Can Of’s mother Lizzi Jay Bee is a half-sister to Hedley’s retired star Avondale Queen and Hedley was fortunate enough to get the dog to train from part-owner Sean Sweeney, who he had a successful partnership with in the past.
“I asked Sean if I could train his bitch Shine For Sharon and I was lucky enough that he agreed. The owners really love racing and it’s great to have a good support team behind me and hopefully Can Of will reward us in the near future.”
Can Of will now be targeted for the Group One Peter Mossman Classic series at Wentworth Park in June and will give Hedley a massive chance at claiming his first Group One victory, after coming tantalisingly close with Avondale Porche in the Group One Vic Peters final last year.