LEADING WA conditioner Chris Halse concedes his consistent stayer Ramifications (Barcia Bale x Disco Girl Jan ’14) faces a challenge against the country’s best stayers in the Group 1 National Distance Championship (710m) at Albion Park on August 25.
The black dog qualified for the $75,000 to the winner event after winning the WA Distance Championship at Cannington on Saturday night, defeating a classy field including up-and-coming stayer Moment To Jive (Mogambo x Sharon Monelli Apr ’15) in 42.26.
The victory was his 23rd at start 51 – his second win in four starts since resuming from a six-month spell last month – and elevated his prize money earnings beyond $170,000.
While it was a dominant win, Halse said the National final will be a tough challenge up against three group 1 winners — Burn One Down (Buck Fever x Fancy Jaffa Jan ’14), Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14) and Bogie Bekim (Bekim Bale x Bogie Skye Apr ’14).
“Realistically we know its going to be tough to win, but I give him a good place chance. No matter what happens I don’t think he’ll disgrace himself and he should be competitive,” Halse told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“Burn One Down is probably a class above the rest of the field in terms of genuine ability over the 700 – but he is going to need luck in running.
“Obviously the locals are going to have the home track advantage too – but I think a lot of it will come down to whoever gets a good run.”
Win, lose or draw, Ramifications has been a terrific money spinner for Halse and his owners, the Haines family, having run third in the Group 3 Mandurah Cup and the Group 2 All Star Sprint and having qualified for the Group 1 Perth Cup, the Group 1 Bold Trease and the Group 2 WA Derby throughout his career.
With injury recently taking its toll, Halse said it is one race at a time for Ramifications, but says one thing if for certain – the 33-kilogram greyhound will be giving his all when the lids fly open for the decider.
“He has been coming back from a long injury lay off and he probably isn’t going as good as he was this time last year but he is still racing well and he is very honest,” Halse said.
“At this stage because of his injury problems every race is a bonus with him – he is probably reaching the end of his career – but there is no doubt we’ve had a lot of fun with him.
“It’s going to be a hard race, but I guess he is always a chance in any race he contests because he gives it his all.”