By Isaac Murphy
The Ipswich Puppy Auction is the only major sale in Queensland but its impact continues to grow through The Ipswich Auction Series for pups bought at the sales with the reintroduction of the 431 metre sprint in 2020 and Marooka trainer Robert Jacobsen believes his pups Roulette and He’s a Minstrel can win their respective heats this Friday and move on to the 520 metre series in April.
“I bred the Fernando Bale/Oh So Sweet litter and put the pups through the Auction, though I was always keen to keep a couple and Roulette and He’s a Minstrel have both started on the right track,” Jacobsen said.
“The mother (Oh So Sweet) by Brett Lee has thrown Group winners and every pup she’s ever thrown has won a race, we did or homework on the cross and Fernando Bale looked an ideal sire.”
“The bloodlines looked great on paper, but it’s obviously been a relief to see them both get to the track and show they’re a couple of young pups going places.”
The brothers have shared vastly different starts to their careers Roulette racing in Tasmania, while He’s a Minstrel took on the Vince Curry, Jacobsen finding it hard to split between the two.
“If I had to pick between the two, I would have said He’s Minstrel the way he came through break in but seeing the confidence Roulette is carrying off his two wins I’d probably put him marginally in front now,” he said.
“They’re pretty distinct looking animals, He’s a Minstrel with his black and white markings and Roulette a striking white, it’s easy to see them when they’re out in front.”
The brothers have spent the first act of their careers thousands of miles apart with Roulette kickstarting his run with a couple of Tasmanian victories.
“I sent Roulette down to Tasmania to get a bit of experience early in his career and have him back up here for a crack at the Auction Series before I decide if he stays or goes back down,” Jacobsen said.”
“The trainer we’ve got him down there with Anthony Bullock has taken dogs on for me before and done a great job, it’s a perfect learning ground to go through your grades over the shorts at a few different tracks and distances and the money is excellent when they’re racing a couple of times a week.”
Roulette unbeaten in his two starts at Hobart and Launceston hasn’t covered more than 340 metres and Jacobsen is attempting to give him a crash course in Ipswich racing before he lines up in heat seven on Friday.
“He hasn’t seen the track before, I’m taking him there for the first time tonight just to give him a really light slip to get a look,” he said.
“Ability wise I think he’s well and truly capable of winning his heat, but if not, he can get a bit of an education at the track and come back in April for the 520-metre series, the prize money for both is exceptional and it would be a bit of a shame not to give him a run.”