Australia’s Queen of greyhound racing Queen Lauryn will take the next step up to 710m in a bid to become Australia’s best stayer.
The Tony Brett-trained Group One Sapphire Crown winner, and finalist of the 2008 Queensland Greyhound of the Year, will make the increase to 710m after showing near record breaking speed over 600m at Albion Park, and smashing the track record at Ipswich over 630m.
Queen Lauryn will jump from box two in the fourth and fifth grade Cartwright Property Group 710m (Race Two) at Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club this Thursday night.
Mr Brett said the aim was for Queen Lauryn to have a start over the distance before next week’s Cartwright Property Group Gold Cup heats.
“The goal was to get a solid run in before the Gold Cup heats next week, and to get a bit of fitness,” he said.
“I expect her to be a bit tired afterwards, but that should prepare her nicely for her potential run next week in the heats.
“She trialled beautifully with a time of 30.18 over the 520m at Ipswich last Thursday, which was very impressive.”
Queen Lauryn, who is owned by Queensland racing identity Steve Hawkins and his family, has won a total of 21 races from 35 starts, including the $72,000 Group One Sapphire Crown at Melbourne’s Sandown Park last October.
The original plan for Queen Lauryn was to prepare for the Sandown Cup, which was won by Mantra Lad last week, but was struck down by illness resulting in a week of rest.
Mr Hawkins said it was a dream of his to have a top level stayer and would love to be able to win on home soil.
“Winning the Cartwright Property Group Gold Cup (a 710m race) is definitely a tall ask but not impossible,” said Mr Hawkins.
“It has always been my dream to have an elite stayer because, in my opinion, it is the most exciting kind of racing.
“To be able to achieve this on home soil also would be a dream come true, but it all comes down to how her fitness goes considering her recent illness.”
Thursday night’s racing will also showcase the Garrards Winter Chase Final, a $7,600 final over 710m, a preparation feature race for the upcoming 2009 Sky Channel Winter Chasing Carnival.
The 2009 Winter Carnival starts with the Cartwright Property Group Gold Cup on June 4, and finishes with the Garrards Winter Carnival Cup on July 23.