Mick Patterson’s talented sprinter Respectability winning recently at Albion Park (Photo: Box 1 Photography)
Albion Park wrap with PAT McLEOD
Mick Patterson knows his young sprinter Respectability is special, just how special we may find out in the first week of July.
In the middle of June the Raw Ability – Fay’s Magic dog flashed back into prominence with a BON 29.50 win in a tough fifth grade at Albion Park.
After a disjointed start to his career of four unplaced runs, Respectability went on a streak of six straight wins. One of those was the Grafton Cup.
He then missed out on a place in the Group 2 Flying Amy final before his more recent win.
Although Patterson, from northern NSW beach hamlet of Iluka, has never doubted his initial high opinion of the chaser, that win re-confirmed his plan to push forward towards the Group 1 Brisbane Cup.
That’s a pretty high bar. But Patterson knows this territory.
He had another special dog, He Knows Uno, who won the 2010 Brisbane Cup amid a stellar career that amassed 34 race wins and $477,000 in prizemoney and included 24 Group finals.
“The other dog (He Knows Uno) took me on the ride of a lifetime. This dog is very good, but you could never compare him to the other dog,” Patterson said.
“It is great to be in the position to compare current dogs with great dogs that I have had.
“I personally don’t think this dog has hit the bottom of the well yet. Now that is a big statement, but I have only been light on him. I don’t go in races just because there are races on. I didn’t do it with the other dog.
“I want to run him in the Brisbane Cup. Why wouldn’t you? This dog has the ability to get to the lead and do big things. I am proud of him.
“He is a dog that you just want him out on the bunny. He is just so strong. You know that if he gets on the bunny they have a job to run him down.
“I have been very lucky. He Knows Uno, he was just super strong. He just loved to beat other dogs.”
The cream rises
As Brisbane Greyhound Club president Les Bein so aptly put it: “Come carnival time the cream always rises to the top.”
Bein was directing that comment at Queensland’s perennial big-game performer Tony Brett. The Grandchester, near Ipswich, based trainer didn’t come into this winter carnival with any standouts, but a solid squad of performers. Yet from almost the opening bell, he has been prominent.
On June 2, the Brisbane club got the party started with a sensational celebration of 50 years since racing under lights.
On cue, Brett appeared taking out the Group 3 Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club’s 50th Anniversary Trophy (520m) with Just A Sort. The Aston Dee Bee – She’s A Sort chaser led by the first turn and maintained that position, keeping at bay a determined Power Moves (Serena Lawrance), with Leanne Hall’s Extra Malt in third.
A couple of weeks later, as the carnival stepped up a gear with the Group 2 Flying Amy Classic (520m) at Albion Park, Brett again was front and centre. He many not have taken out the main event that night, but took the honours in the Group 3 The Dashing Corsair (710m) with Bedrock Fred.
A week later Bedrock Fred took out the Group 3 Garrard’s Super Stayers Invitational (710m).
The son of Spring Gun, based out of South Australia, has been campaigned across the nation, but is no stranger to the Brett kennels.
He was sent north for the same carnival last year and may not have returned home with a bulging trophy portfolio, but impressed Brett enough for him to suggest the stayer return.
It will be interesting to see if Brett emerges again on the Winter Carnival Group 1 night, July 7, and add to his four Brisbane Cups tally – Bogie Leigh (2003), Glen Gallon (2011), Thirty Talks (2016), Fast Times (2017).
The Queensland connection
The importance of a trustworthy base away from home for trainers has always been a cornerstone of this industry.
Whether it’s within the same state or interstate, having a safe, caring, professional foothold for trainers and their team when they are on the road is vital.
That ‘connection’ has already been borne out during this winter carnival. Numerous southeast Queensland trainers are playing ‘mine host’ at the moment and that scenario was made front and centre when Victorian greyhound racing cousins Dave MacKenzie and Gavin Clifton took out the Group 2 Flying Amy Classic (520m) at Albion Park on June 16, with Photo Man.
The pair have based their Sunshine State campaign out of Graham and Leanne Hall’s kennels at Marburg, just west of Ipswich.
Their stay obviously has been the right formula with Photo Man and Pazienza both making the Flying Amy final (Pazienza finished sixth).
Clifton’s after-race ‘media speak’ was almost as much about the quality of care offered by the Halls as it was about the performance of Photo Man.
He rounded off his praise with: “The dog (Photo Man) could not be in better hands up here. Graham and Leanne Hall have been fantastic over the last two weeks and I cannot thank them enough. “They are just unbelievable how well they have looked after our dogs.”