By MIKE HILL
HE\’S a true warhorse, says Queensland Hall-of-Famer Tony Brett.
The master trainer was referring to grand stayer Sir Truculent after the son of Worm Burner and Establish landed a courageous victory in the $12,600 Ipswich Grand Prix (732m) In July.
The triumph came less than a fortnight after the black chaser\’s powerful win in the $145,000 Group 1 Queensland Cup (710m) at Albion Park.
\”I admire the dog,\” said Brett. \”It was a massive win.
\”He weaved his way through the field as if he\’d raced at the track all his life.\”
Sir Truculent, the $1.85 favourite, was fourth early before going on a forward move, hitting the front entering the top corner the final time.
He courageously held on, despite being pressured in the straight, for a three-quarters of a length victory over the Jeff Ahern-prepared Burnt Ends ($9) with Darren Johnstone\’s Maggie Moo Moo ($2.70) a close third.
The winning time of 43.94s was .38s outside Wagtail\’s track record.
\”He\’s a seasoned campaigner … a true warhorse,\” said Brett. \”He\’s a good stayer, just a real good dog.
\”I\’ll be sad to see him go. He\’s no trouble … he\’s a happy dog. He\’ll go down as one of South Australia\’s best ever stayers.\”
The Grandchester-based trainer said Sir Truculent was heading back to his SA owner-trainer Wally Harkins to prepare for the National Distance Championship series.
\”He\’s booked to fly back home tomorrow,\” the trainer said a day after the Ipswich success.
Brett has acted as caretaker trainer for the stayer\’s two highly successful Queensland campaigns this year.
Sir Truculent won the rich $75,000-to-the-winner Listed Gold Cup final (710m) at Albion Park in early February before his most recent mission.
\”He\’s been a very much underrated dog for a long time,\” said Brett.
\”He\’s been racing the best stayers in the land for 18 months, two years and he turns four in December.
\”To still be racing in his current form, he\’s probably the premier stayer at present.
\”He has a few creaks and moans after races, but he gets over them and does what he has to do.\”
The trainer went into the Ipswich Grand Prix confident Sir Truculent was \’on song\’.
\”That was his first race at the track,\” he said. \”I gave him a trial over the Ipswich 288m on the Monday before the race.
\”I just wanted to give him a look at the first turn.
\”He\’s a stayer and he clocked 16.92s – that was faster than two of the heats of the Past Presidents series (a few days later).\”
Victory in the Ipswich feature lifted Sir Truculent\’s career record to 41 wins and 31 minor placings from 93 starts and boosted his prizemoney to just under $408,000.
Meanwhile, Ipswich has been extra good to highly successful owner-trainer-breeder Steve Kavanagh this year.
The northern NSW-based conditioner last month produced talented sprinter Louis Rumble for an all-the-way win in the $16,800 Ipswich Young Guns (520m).
Louis Rumble (Fernando Bale-Joyce Rumble) led throughout to hold off the fast-finishing I\’m Explosive and Katanti to lift his career record to 16 wins and 10 minor placings from 32 starts and boost his stakes to $73,040.
Earlier in the year, Kavanagh won the rich Group 3 Vince Curry Maiden at Ipswich with Louis Rumble\’s litter brother Rumble Ranger.