By Isaac Murphy
Tony Apap tragically lost star stayer Jalapeno earlier in the year and while no greyhound can fill the void he left, the trainer believes young gun Rasheda could be capable of reaching similar heights.
Rasheda wears the yellow rug in Heat One of the Christmas Stocking on Thursday night and despite being very raw at only 21 months old, Apap believes she is starting to show glimpses of her star potential.
“Her first few runs she was very, very green, she’s still got a lot of learning to do,” he said
“But last time out I started to see glimpses of that race education coming through.
Thursday night’s heat is another step-up from last week’s Fifth Grade victory and Apap said the bitch would need some luck early to show her scintillating run home.
“She’s not blessed with early pace and that’s always going to be a challenge in a 520m race,” he said.
“We’ve got Brandi Alexander inside her (4) and Irish Ripple (6) outside her, both of which possess early speed, so hopefully she can park herself in behind them and use her blinding finish to come over the top.”
Rasheda came to Apap from owner and long-time friend David Brasch; an association which dates back to when Brasch ran Chase Magazine out of Brisbane.
“When David was up here running Chase Magazine, he always did all the advertising for us when we had a few stud dogs and we’ve been friends since then,” Apap said.
“He bought her off a Victorian breeder and ex-AFL footballer Noel Mugavin and is out of Born Ali who has been a very good producer.
“I was talking to David the other day and he said they actually knocked back an $80,000 offer to buy Rasheda’s sister in Victoria, so they obviously have a high opinion of the line.”
Apap said he was itching to try Rasheda over distance but will take a more cautious approach with her at this early age.
“I can’t wait to put her over the distance, the last part of the race is her best,” he said.
“For now we’ll take our Fifth Grades while she’s still learning and if she is still going OK in a couple of weeks, we’ve got the Futurity at Wentworth Park in mind and after that we’ll definitely step her up as she approaches two years old.
“I think early stages of her career she’s shown just as much as Jalapeno did, but at just 21 months we haven’t seen the real Rasheda yet, but if everything goes to plan I’m pretty excited about where she might get to.”