The Christine Robartson trained youngster has spent the last month turning heads over the 400 metre trip at Mandurah, winning on three of four occasions and clocking a personal best time of 22.33.
“I was concerned that we put him in blind in the heats because we didn’t have a chance to trial him over 490, but his times indicated to me that he could run the distance and that he would be very competitive.” Dave Robartson explained
“We broke him in over 300 and 400 metres, his times then going back to when he was 13 months old were very good. There was nothing running what he was running at the time.”
The Queensland bred son of Go Wild Teddy – Pretty Spiffy turned two in February and has earned over $6,000 in his five career starts.
“He was the outstanding one of the litter and there are still a couple to come that have shown a fair amount of ability as well. When we brought him over and trialled him at Mandurah, his first look out of the boxes he went 17.02. I thought that was all right at the time. He ran off the track a bit in the trial because he was a bit wobbly on the first turn. Then he ran about 16.99 second run.”
Jabba Da Pup then went on to win his qualifying trial by 20 lengths in a best of the night performance of 22.41. Since his qualifying trial he hasn’t drawn a box wider then three and has only been beaten once.
“After his qually we thought we’ve got something here! He got beaten at one stage, he drew box two and was galloped on early but he ran on and pulled up well. The following week he came back out and ran 22.59.”
“With young dogs particularly you worry when they have so many inside or even outside draws because it can affect their performance.”
Last week in Jabba’s first start over 490 he jumped from box one and showcased his explosive speed to land in front of the field with Nobu King. He outclassed Nobu King with ease, pulling away to win by 5.68 lengths in 27.36.
“I was quietly confident because he had been working well. You get to know how well they are working; when he runs he is just brilliant, there is no half speed with him, its flat out up and flat out back.”
“With young dogs you have always got to have that in the back of your mind, when other dogs put early pressure on, it can bring young ones unstuck. That dog really put the pressure on him early so for him to persevere and get past him and run away from him was pretty impressive.”
“A strong dog comes around the home turn and will rail up on the home turn more so than running wide.”
This week is by far Jabba’s toughest test; he will have the pressure on him early with Stanga Tom (box four) and the strength from Stangafied (box six) to contest with.
“He will measure up; it’s going to depend on a lot of luck. I don’t think they were any better or worse then him on the night, its just who gets the luck in racing.”
“Our run home was quite good, I thought being his first 490 he would have to find a bit after that run. With young dogs you always hope it will happen but it’s not a guarantee. I’m hoping that this week he can begin out of five. He isn’t quick out, but once he hits the ground he has a great change of speed.”
Jabba’s next big test will come in Cannington’s Derby where he will not only have the prolonged distance to cover but the dramatic step up in class.
“I don’t like to look too far ahead but with young dogs if you can tick a few boxes with their performances early it certainly gives you an idea of what kind of career you are looking at.”
“I’m as confident as I was that he would get the 490, you’re always running with your heart in your mouth. With older dogs you get to know their traits and characteristics but younger dogs you have to find them out as you go along.”
Jabba Da Pup is beginning to showcase the characteristics that Dave and Christine were looking for when they chose to put Go Wild Teddy over their bitch Pretty Spiffy.
“Pretty Spiffy was a strong and fast bitch but she had a pretty bad fall when I sent her to Melbourne. When she came back she wasn’t real confident in a field, she could trial alright on her own but in a field she was a bit wary.”
“He (Go Wild Teddy) was a tenacious chaser; I thought if she had any weakness in her mind he would be able to overcome that. She was also fairly strong, Go Wild Teddy could run the 500 himself but some of his pups weren’t strong 500 metre dogs.”
“I was hoping because I knew Pretty Spiffy was strong and Go Wild Teddy’s tenaciousness that we might produce something that has early pace and is strong.”
With just five career starts Jabba Da Pup looks to be on his way to being what the Robartson’s were looking for.
“All the indicators are there, but we just have to wait now. Once we go to Cannington that will be the true test.”