The Nev Jackson-trained sprinter Gilded … one of the chances in Wednesday night’s $7700 Young Guns Final (407m) at Rockhampton after an impressive heat victory last week. (Photo: Caught In The Act Photography CQ)
By Mike Hill
“IT’S one of the best fields of youngsters assembled at Rocky for some time,” says veteran trainer Nev Jackson.
The former long-time club president was commenting on the $7700 Rockhampton Young Guns Final (407m) at the Callaghan Park circuit on Wednesday night.
“It’s a very strong field and any one of the eight finalists is capable of winning,” said Jackson, who has Gilded, a surprising $71 heat winner last week, jumping from box four.
“She’s a nice little bitch with plenty of heart, however, she seems to find trouble in some of her races.
“I would have preferred her in the outside box, but we’ll have to suffer four.
“At least it’s better than nine.”
Jackson considers Gilded a ‘very good place chance’.
“She a handy bitch, she has ability and nothing that she does would surprises me,” he said. “She just needs an ounce of luck.
“I know if she can get a clear run, she can run time.”
That’s exactly what the blue sprinter (Tommy Shelby-Cosmic Owl) did in last week’s heat, leading all the way in a smart 23.53s.
“That was her best run by a couple of lengths,” said Jackson, who is based in Mackay, 336kms north of Rockhampton.
“I purchased Gilded as a therapy dog for owner Larry Evans, who used to race dogs when the Mackay club was operating.
“Larry was having some health issues and was coming here to help me with the dogs.
“Since we’ve had Gilded his health has been on the improve.
“Already Larry has his handler’s licence and is in the process of obtaining an owner-trainer licence and once he gets that he will take over the training of the sprinter.”
Jackson said Gilded was from a smart litter that includes Departed and Closure, both Melbourne winners for leading trainer Jeff Britton, and her mother Cosmic Owl (Cosmic Rumble-Coulta Sky) was a three-time Group finalist.
He said he picked up the bitch from Horsham in the Wimmera region of Victoria.
“It’s where I get all my dogs from,” he said.
Meanwhile, Emerald-based Christine Pollard will be hoping for a change in luck when she rugs up littermates Educator (box 1) and Blue Ocean View (box 6) in the $5005-to-the-winner feature final.
Injuries have forced three of Pollard’s kennel stars to the sidelines in recent weeks.
The latest was Edgewood, a scratching from last week’s $18,500 Country Cup Final (520m) at Albion Park.
Edgewood, a member of Pollard’s outstanding Fernando Bale-Bossy Miss Bella litter that also includes Educator and Blue Ocean View, injured an offside shoulder in an Albion Park trial a week before the Cup final.
It followed more serious injuries to sensational sprinter Mark Sure Can, whose current winning streak stands at 15, and Scarsdale, another member of the Bossy Miss Bella litter.
Both are expected to be sidelined for another six or so weeks, while Edgewood should be back racing soon.
Pollard said Educator had the better early pace of her two Young Guns finalists, but there was plenty of speed around him.
She said Dallas Beckett’s pair Sweet Valentine (box 2) and Sweet Zandra (box 3) – from the Feral Franky-Sweet Suzie litter – were both quick early.
The trainer said she would have preferred the boxes to have been reversed for her kennel representatives.
“I think Blue Ocean View would have been better suited on the rails,” she said.
“He’s a powerful dog that is a bit of a ‘knock ’em over, take no prisoners’ type of sprinter, while Educator is looking for 500m.”
A third trainer, Juanita Thompson, also has a pair of runners in the Young Guns feature – Candyman (box 5) and Me And Fred (box 8).
IN Townsville, leading trainer Brad Belford says he favours Here Wolfe over his other two runners in the rescheduled $7700 Australia Day Trophy (498m) on Tuesday.
The meeting has been switched to an afternoon program with Ipswich picking up the night time slot.
The $5005-to-the-winner Trophy feature and the $7700 Robert Olsen maiden final over 380m have been carried over after last Tuesday night’s Townsville meeting was abandoned because of damage to several light towers following Cyclone Kirrily’s impact on the North Queensland city late last month.
“Here Wolfe is just starting to come good,” said Belford.
“It’s taken him a while to acclimatise up here, but his recent trial was exceptional.
“I think Pretty Cindy (another Belford runner) may lead but Wolfe should run her down.
“He’s not as quick as Cindy early but he’s very strong late.”