Greyhound trainer Max Julien is in no doubt about the chances of his kennel star, Miss Slick, in the Group 2 Schweppes All Stars (530m) at Cannington on Saturday night.
“I think she deserves to win and I’ll be p****ed off if she doesn’t!” Julien declared.
What has Julien in such a bullish mood is the fact that Miss Slick qualified fastest for the $60,000 feature race after stopping the clock at 30.44sec in her impressive heat victory.
With four wins from her past five starts and an ideal draw in box 3, Julien is confident Miss Slick can do the business.
“From that box, against this field, in this form, all she’ll need is an ounce of luck to win,” he said.
To win, Miss Slick will have to overhaul the likes of fast-starting pair Where’s Blue and Rudd Mud.
Both are heat winners and are anticipated to vie for the early lead in this weekend’s race.
As a greyhound that generally doesn’t storm out of the traps, Miss Slick is well-suited to the way the All Stars is expected to be run.
Julien explained that the greyhound’s racing pattern was to “sit off them into the first turn” before launching her customary finishing power.
Colin Bainbridge, trainer of Where’s Blue, admits that his chaser will need to get away to a good start if he has any hope of winning.
“Miss Slick is the one to beat, she’s a good ‘railer’, she’s very strong and she’ll be right in it heading for home,” he predicted.
As if the stakes weren’t already high enough, a win to Miss Slick on the weekend could seal what are already formidable Greyhound of the Year credentials.
Not surprisingly, Julien thinks that Miss Slick has already done enough to claim the coveted title.
“I reckon she should be greyhound of the year now, but obviously I don’t get a vote!” he said.
Miss Slick announced herself as a force on Perth Cup night in April when she produced scorching run of 30.02, then the fifth-fastest time ever at the track.
From 43 career starts she has won 17 races, including the Group 2 WA Oaks and Spring Gift, but has also had a frustrating habit of running second, which she has done 18 times.
Although Julien admits that he is “irked” by the fact that Miss Slick has regularly been relegated to runner-up against “dogs she should have beaten”, recent form suggests the greyhound is finally putting it all together and living up to her potential.
Julien may be biased – after all, he bred and co-owns Miss Slick with his wife, Pam – but he thinks the greyhound could get even better.
Regardless of this weekend’s result, Julien is eyeing off a trip to Sandown Park in late November for a shot at Australia’s richest greyhound race, The Melbourne Cup.
Courtesy : James Broadhurst, Perth Now