Reg Kay won his first Vince Curry Memorial Maiden on Saturday night when Jungle Junction speared the lids and led throughout to beat a promising field of up-and-comers.
Kay says he is elated with the win, especially given that it is the first time he has won the race.
“It’s always a thrill to win a race like that, it’s the first time I’ve won it, I think we run second in it one year, I just can’t remember, but to win it is great,” he told ARG.
Jungle Junction was sent to Kay by leading Victorian Trainer Jason Thompson for a tilt at the $40,000 to-the-winner event and despite having obvious ability, she still surprised Kay with her continual improvement and her eventual win.
“Jason Thompson sent her up about six weeks ago and she arrived pretty well educated, but at the time I didn’t think she had the ability to win the Vince Curry, but she has just kept on improving.”
“We’ve got our own straight track here and she has been getting better every time I put her up.”
“She went 30.66 the week she won her heat and she probably went 30.40-odd the second week when she got beat and she’s been improving all the time.”
The plans for Jungle Junction are to eventually head south again to the Thompson kennels, but for now she will remain with Kay and will make her city debut at Albion Park this Thursday evening.
“There’s a race up here this week at Albion Park called the Young Guns. It is for dogs under two-and-a-half years old and there’s a lot of young good dogs in it. I’ve thrown her to the wolves a little bit and put her in that.”
“She’s never been there and the draw has just come through, she has drawn the one-alley which couldn’t be any better really. I’m not saying she can win it because the other dogs have had a lot of experience on the track, but she can get out in front and she is a good chaser, so you never know what might happen.”
With a little bit of luck, Kay could have landed the quinella in the Vince Curry Memorial, with his promising dog Size Does Matter running fourth. The son of Bekim Bale and Size It Up (Elite State – Size ‘Em Up) has shown a lot of promise as a pup with rumours of massive offers to buy him circulating the tracks.
Kay admits that Size does Matter has a lot to learn but also paid him a massive accolade when it comes to his potential.
“If he puts it all together, he could possibly be one of the best dogs I’ve ever had, but he’s a bit of a slow learner. He can trial anything by himself but he needs a little bit of room early, I think he was a bit stiff in the Vince Curry not to run a place, possibly even second. He got into trouble early, but that’s what happens when you haven’t got early speed.”
“He beats Jungle Junction by six lengths every time they trial, I always trial her with him. The last time I trialled them up here, we have got an electronic timer, and he only beat her by four. Normally she’d beat him out two lengths and he’d beat her by six. The last trial we had they jumped together, I thought oh geez he’s going to beat her by eight or ten here and he only beat her by four. I rang Jason straight away and said she has to be a chance on that run, she’s just improved every time.”
Size Does Matter will also take part in the Young Guns heats at Albion Park on Thursday night but has not been afforded the same luck in the box draw as Jungle Junction.
“He’s drawn the five-alley on Thursday night which won’t suit him at all, but he has had a look there before where she hasn’t. Like I said, I’ve thrown them to the wolves a bit, but rather than trial them I thought bugger it, they’re only racing their own age group. She (Jungle Junction) is going to end up a top-class race bitch and Jason said to give her a few runs up here before we send her back so I thought why not give her a go?”
Kay knows that this week’s series will be a real litmus test for both of his precocious stars, with a few others already having the runs on the board at the venue.
“There’s a couple of dogs in the series that have already broken thirty, so it will be tough. Mind you, they’re all breaking thirty there now since they put the new boxes in, the track is two-tenths quicker. “
“We hold the track record with Made To Size, he went 23.85 post-to-post that night, that’s what I tell everyone I gauge the record on now.”
Jungle Junction and Size Does Matter will definitely be two names to put in the black-book if you are looking to ear-mark potential future stars and both could well become very prominent chasers in both Queensland and Victoria down the track.