CHRIS Nutt is hopeful his highly promising Jingjing can handle the leap in class when she contests Friday’s heats of the Group One National Futurity at Wentworth Park.
The pint-sized rocket has had just six starts for five wins and a third, including a handy 30.16 winning debut at headquarters earlier this month, with Nutt enthusing that her early speed was a deciding factor in entering the lucrative series.
“She is only young, she has got the world before her,” he said. “She is a really good chaser and she has plenty of speed – that is probably the only reason why we have thrown her in the deep end to have a crack at the Futurity.
“I’m sure if she begins well on Friday night then she will put her best paws forward.”
Jingjing faces a tough assignment when she jumps from box three in heat five with Foxy Nakita (box one), Oakvale Destiny (box five) and Assertive Bella (box seven) looming as the main threats.
“I think it is the hardest heat of the night,” Nutt said.
“The one deserves to be the favourite and Jason Mackay’s bitch, Assertive Bella, ran second in the Paws of Thunder. On top of that you have Jeff Britton’s bitch in the five, she is just a gun.
“At the end of the day she [Jingjing] doesn’t know who she is up against and she will be trying her best. I have confidence in her and at the end of the day she only has to finish in the first four to qualify for the semis, a win would just be a bonus.”
Despite the classy opposition, Nutt remains optimistic his brilliant bitch will perform well.
“She is a dog that has to lead, if she begins well then she is going to be there,” he said. “I think if she can nail the start then she will lead easily, if they are good enough to run her down then so be it.
“She hasn’t actually nailed the start in a race yet. She is always up there at the first turn but she is capable of running first and second sectional records. I know she has got it in her, it is all just a matter of time.”
Nutt, who trains from the famous The Oaks establishment in partnership with Shaun Evans and Kayla Coleman, has been associated with many fast greyhounds during his career, one of those being Barcia Bale, the sire of Jingjing.
“I have been fortunate enough to work for Paul Wheeler for 10, 15 years and I have broken in some very fast dogs for them, but Barcia Bale is the fastest dog that I have ever seen and I am his No.1 fan,” Nutt said.
“He is from a blueblood line and I have no doubt that he will make it all the way as a sire. His oldest dog is Winsome Prince, but I think the best of his pups are yet to come.”
Friday night is shaping up as a massive night of racing at Wentworth Park with six sensational heats of the $75,000-to-the-winner Group One Futurity series. Other greyhounds to keep an eye on are Weblec Belle and Megan Keeping (heat two), Jewel Action and Zipping Midge (heat four) as well as Spring Leaf and Ella Has Class (heat six).
Saturday night should also be a cracker with heats of the National Derby featuring Zipping Saxon and Winsome Prince (heat one), Dark Vito and Anything Less (heat four), Paua To Roar and Are Jip (heat five) and Prescribe and Crackerjack Max (heat six).