EIGHT heats of the Group 3 Cranbourne Puppy Classic will be run over the 520-metre trip on Wednesday evening, with Tuerong trainer Mario Briganti confident that he has the greyhounds to be competitive in the series.
Briganti puts the polish on Emrys (race three, box five) and Angie Rocks (race five, box one) which will contest the first and third heats respectively.
Emrys, a son of Magic Sprite and Prancing Uno, has been a terrific money earner throughout his career to date, winning 13 races from 37 starts with over $79,000 in prize money. The black chaser, $4.50 with Bet365, has not been seen since winning at Sandown Park on August 6 and, despite not having started at Cranbourne, Briganti is hopeful that he will perform well.
“He has been a very good dog, his only problem is that his box manners aren’t always the best,” Briganti said.
“He got the start right at Sandown a couple of Thursdays ago – that was the best he has ever begun- and if he can do that again this week then he is going to be a big threat in the race.”
Briganti said Emrys has been a different dog since resuming from a short spell, with two wins and two minor placings from five starts.
“He had a break after winning over 600 metres at The Meadows in May and ever since then he has come back a bit more mature – he has always been a very highly strung dog – but I think he is growing up a little bit,” Briganti said.
“He has plenty of ticker and he is very consistent – he has made three Group 1 finals already this year, but in each one he hasn’t drawn well and has found himself in trouble early.
“He is due to win a good race – hopefully it is this one.”
Emrys will take on a talented field including Blazin’ Bomber (box four – $2.40), Fever Pitch (box two – $4.20) and Fuelish (box three – $5.50).
Briganti also prepares the talented Angie Rocks, this year’s Group 1 Sapphire Crown runner-up, which has drawn favourably in box one in the third heat on Wednesday.
“Box one is a good box for her, I think she will be able to hunt up on the inside in the run to the first corner as it looks like the two (Alpha Zues) and three (Rowdy Ronda) get off a little bit.
“She only needs that bit of clear room early, if she is close enough to them she should go close because she is very strong.”
The daughter of Kinloch Brae and Punk Rock Lass is another that lacks genuine speed, but has enormous potential with 10 wins and seven minors from 22 career starts.
“She has just turned two and she has done a lot right in her career so far. She has proven that she can match it with the better dogs going around, but she does luck early pace and she needs a lot of luck early,” Briganti said.
“She has done a great job so far, she has already won over $100,000 in prize money, and she is very young – the world is her oyster – I wouldn’t swap her for anything.”
The 2015 Cranbourne Puppy Classic series is shaping up to be one of the best in recent years, with other chasers to watch out for including Dawkins Bale (heat four, box eight), Midnight Ride (heat five, box eight), Dyna Double One (heat six, box two), Pop The Cork (heat six, box three), Shared Equity (heat seven, box one), Fantastic Spiral (heat seven, box seven) and Kayda Shae (heat eight, box four).