Two locals out to gate-crash the Jay Is Jay Golden Ticket Show

Caption: Greg Deering and Times Three during 2022-23 Golden Greys Summer Carnival. The Ipswich-based trainer is hoping for similar success during this year’s carnival. (Photo: Box 1 Photography)

By Pat McLeod

The Golden Ticket may be shaping as the Jay Is Jay benefit concert, but two local trainers are planning to steal the show, starting with the heats of the unique 520m series on Thursday night at Albion Park.

Grant Franklin (Get Carter) and Greg Deering (Times Three) both acknowledge the ‘J’ Factor, how fast the dog is and how the Golden Ticket match-race format is perfectly set up for Selena Zammit’s superstar.

But like any trainer with a good dog, they are ready to run with some luck.

“The dream result for my dog is to win the heat round with a fast enough time to be matched with Jay Is Jay in the final,” says Franklin.

“I would love Get Carter to go head-to-head with Jay Is Jay.

“Could my dog beat him? I really don’t know. Jay Is Jay is a superstar, but I would certainly find out how good Get Carter is.”

For Deering, his goal is not quite that lofty, just yet.

He is hoping for a sequel to last year.

Back then, Times Three, a noted speedster over ‘the shorts’, surprised everyone by being thrown in the deep end of the Golden Greys Summer Carnival over the 520m, but then excelled.

He won a heat of the 2023 Gold Bullion and then led for the majority of the final before running third to Hello Mike (first) and Jay Is Jay (second).

This time around Times Three has been sidelined with an eye condition that has required treatment and Deering has not raced his chaser fearing the medication may cause an issue if it is still in the dog’s system come race day.

“I have been following all the best advice, so hopefully that won’t be an issue on Thursday night,” Deering said.

“The dog has not raced for about three months, but is trialing as good as ever.

“I wasn’t going to nominate him but thought the four-dog fields would be as good as a trial and the run will give me a good indication of where the dog is.

“Honestly, I did not think he would get a start. I am rapt that he has. But the Gold Bullion is still the main target.

“Really, I have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain, by letting him go around in the Golden Ticket.

“Jay Is Jay is perfectly set for this type of racing, especially from Box 1. In our heat, King Of Aces should be too strong.

“I am just hoping my dog is quick out of the boxes as usual, leads at the corner and we will just see how he goes from there.”

Deering will be working on Thursday night and has left the dog in the very capable hands of his wife, Kim Woods, and son, Riley.

“Kim handled the dog in the Group 1 race last year, so she will be fine,” he said.

“Hopefully I can find a quiet spot to watch the race.”

Franklin says Get Carter is ‘ready to go!’

He will jump from Box 3. He has Saanvi (Tim Tzouvelis) on his inside (Box 1) and outside are Captain Larry (Tim Britton) Box 5, and Hello Mike (Travis Elson) Box 7.

“He had a post-to-post on Friday at Albion Park and I was happy with that,” Franklin said.

“I have a feeling my bloke will lead at the corner, then probably settle in behind Captain Larry, then charge home.

“Hello Mike will be the danger.”

In his past 11 starts, mostly in top company, Get Carter has not finished out of a top two placing – four firsts and seven seconds.

“He definitely has that X Factor, but it only comes around every so often,” Franklin says.

“I am proud of the dog and what he has achieved.

“He has certainly given me more confidence as a trainer.

“Of course, you are always learning, but he has shown me that I am doing some things right.”

There will be four, four-dog heats of the Golden Ticket on Thursday night.

First and second from those four heats move through to the ‘final round’ (January 18), where the dogs are paired in match races.

The two fastest are paired, then the next two fastest, etc.

From the four match races, the fastest of the four winners is declared the recipient of the Golden Ticket.

That dog not only collects $60,000, but also gets direct entry into the $250,000-to-the-winner Gold Bullion final on February 1.



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