JAMIE Quinlivian is confident his young greyhound Serene Machine (Banjo Boy x Rustic Reeta Jan '16) is capable of sharp improvement when she lines up in Thursday night's Group 3 SA Oaks (515m) at Angle Park.
Her heat run was just her sixth race track appearance, her second at Angle Park, with Quinlivian explaining she can find plenty heading into this week's $25,000 to the winner final.
“It was only her second time at Angle Park and I think she has got a heap of improvement in her – I am actually more confident going into the final than I was the heats,” Quinlivian told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She is getting better and learning with every run. Obviously it's a big ask for her coming up against some more experienced dogs but I think she is capable of running well.
“She is full of chase and I just think she has the most improvement to come out of the entire field – I think she can improve on every section.”
The 27-kilogram bitch was somewhat of a surprise qualifier last Thursday, having been sent to the boxes as a $16 chance after winning just one of her five prior starts with three minor placings.
However, her Merbein South trainer, who lives more than four hours away from Angle Park in Victoria, says he is not shocked that his youngster was able to qualify.
“I wasn't surprised with how she went, however the Oaks was never on her radar because she is so young and inexperienced.
“But with the lack of nominations I thought I'd have a crack at it because her last run at Horsham had been very strong.”
Quinlivian admits Serene Machine didn't have the perfect preparation coming into the race, another reason why he is hopeful his promising pup can improve off her heat run.
“When I decided to nominate her I didn't want to go into the heats cold so I raced her there on Monday night to give her a look at the track.
“It was a three day back up heading into the heats so she was probably carrying a bit of tiredness into that race – but she has had a full week off to recharge her batteries now so I expect her to be at her peak.”
Serene Machine has drawn box two for the lucrative feature which her trainer believes brings her right into contention for the title.
“Box two is perfect – all of her trials and races she has given the impression that she wants to be near the rail. I was certainly happy when I drew the two.
“They are going to be coming down from the outside so she is going to have to get to the first corner in a good position, but if she does she can hug the rail the whole way around.
“If she can nail the start this week I think we will be in for a good ride as I think she is capable of running well under 30.
“I am really excited about her.”
The other heat of the SA Oaks was also won by Jeff Britton, with Alpha Themis (Magic Sprite x Queen Of Cyprus Jul '15) taking her record to three wins and four placings from 17 starts when saluting in 29.97.