True Talent stuns connections to qualify for The Great Chase

True Talent winning his semi-final of The . PIC: Paul Munt.

TRUE Talent (Fernando Bale x Nicki Fields Dec '15) will be aiming to give Fernando Bale his first feature race winner as a sire when he contests Wednesday's Group 3 The Great Chase (525m) at .

Prepared by Gerry O'Keeffe, True Talent for the $47,000 feature with an all-the-way win in his semi-final of the series at The Meadows last Wednesday, clocking a moderate 30.46 after winning his qualifier at in a brilliant 24.93 on October 13.

The semi-final victory was a pleasant shock for O'Keeffe and connections, who had considered True Talent's litter brothers Poke The Bear and their best shots in the lucrative series.

“We thought we had a chance in the series, but to make the final with this dog was the biggest surprise,” O'Keeffe told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“He has some talent and he has early speed – but his brothers Out Of Range and Poke The Bear are both quicker than him.

“The whole litter can run – another brother named has won nine of 11 – and although True Talent didn't run brilliant time on Wednesday he is getting stronger with every run.”

A winner of four from 13 with six minor placings, True Talent will jump from box four in Wednesday's feature and has been rated a $13 chance with online bookmaker Bet365.

He will face a cracking field including 's duo (Black Magic Opal x El Brooklyn Jan '16) and Azkaban (Bella Infrared x Outlandish Jan '16) as well as the exciting Hasten Slowly (Fernando Bale x Heidi Go Seek Feb '16) which is prepared by Angela Langton.

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Although O'Keeffe says his greyhound isn't the fastest in the race, he hasn't lost all hope.

“Races don't always go to the fastest dog – when luck comes into it they sometimes go to the dog which is out in front and I am hoping come Wednesday that will be him.

“Outsiders always have a chance – Bells Are Ringin' proved that for us in the Cup a few years ago when she won as the rank outsider.

“Once you make a race, you are a chance of winning it.”

The one good thing working in True Talent's favour is his brilliant early speed, with a repeat of his 5.02 first section from last week sure to put him in the firing line early.

“If luck goes our way in the first 30m he will be right up there and I think he could even lead the race,” O'Keeffe said.

“From there he will need to lead clearly to win, but it is a two turn race and anything can happen.

“If he is out in front, who knows? Maybe he can pinch it.”

The Group 3 The Great Chase is race six at The Meadows this Wednesday and will jump at 1.40pm.

Group 3 The Great Chase – market

1 – He Shall Johnny $5.50
2 – Despacito $2.80
3 – Nike Viper $7.50
4 – True Talent $13 with Bet365
5 – Crackerjack Nath $7.50
6 – Azkaban $10
7 – Zing Zang Zena $34
8 – Hasten Slowly $3.50
9 – Our Mate Wilson $26
10 – Ice Cool Kaedyn $34