By Isaac Murphy
The market has Scanlon as the $41 outsider in the Box One Photography Group Three Golden Sands this Thursday night, but trainer Peter Evans is more than happy with the underdog tag. The chaser was put up $71 in last week’s heats only to be tracked down in the last few strides and is taking improvement with every run over the 600 metres.
“I wasn’t expecting much at all. He’s a good beginner and gives himself a chance when he leads but I thought with Infrared Lad alongside us he’d probably take it up and it would be all over, but we got away first held the rest up and are hoping for a repeat in the final,” Evans said.
“He’s shown he can lead from any box over the 600. The five certainly isn’t ideal but if he can get to the front again, he makes his own luck off the corner start.”
“Velocity Bettina stands out as a potential winner but so much can happen at that first corner and Defy who beat us last week should be a big improver after checking off heals about four times last week. All in all it’s a very even contest.”
2020 is the first year the race is named the Golden Sands as part of the Summer Carnival, but Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse said the race held a rich tradition.
“The race was originally called the Queensland Cup and was run at Beenleigh and we were keen to keep the race going as the only Group six hundred metre race in Queensland and as you can see from the field it’s had continued support from the trainers,” Gatehouse said.
“The Queensland Cup name has gone to the Group One 710 metre race in the Winter Carnival and will live on there.”
“Michael McInally and his team at Box One Photography who are on track with us every meet on the year stepped up to sponsor this race last year and it’s fantastic to see them putting their hard earned back into the industry.”
Scanlon ran his first six hundred just two months ago and the rise in distance has brought out of new-found bravado in the dog.
“He hasn’t had many six hundreds and is taking natural improvement from every run. He’s run 35.21 running second over the trip which probably doesn’t win him the race but with his pattern gives him a chance,” Evans said.
“I put him over the six hundred after about fifteen starts. He was just getting knocked around too much over the 520 and the Barcia Bale/Killara litter he’s out of were all very strong, so I thought why not.”
“He’s always shown a bit of ability, but the confidence has only really come along after a couple of 0-3-win 630 metre wins at Ipswich a few starts back.”
Evans is determined to make Scanlon a bonified six hundred metre dog and believes the skies the limit if he can finish his races the way he starts them.
“I’m committed to the six hundred metres with him for the moment he’s still got plenty to prove there and I’m confident he’ll keep getting better with more racing,” he said.
“I’d love to get him to the 710 metres eventually, but he just doesn’t have the strength in his legs yet. He’s only had the twenty-four starts, so hopefully with a bit of time he might run it out.”
While Scanlon is centre stage in a Group Three tomorrow night, his litter sister Logan Belle makes her long awaited return at Ipswich on Saturday, Evans even more excited about her prospects.
“I’ve got his sister Logan Belle who’s only had nine starts and, in my opinion, has lengths on the rest of the litter which includes Gary Palmer’s dog Kendall. I’ve got a big rap on her,” Evans said.
“She’s been out for six months and is starting back at Ipswich over the 431 metres this Saturday where I trialled her on Tuesday and went 25.13 in a four-dog field.”
“She’s always run time. I set her for the Vince Curry last year where she ran 30.46 in a trial but unfortunately things didn’t work out. I’m really looking forward to getting her up in distance too.”
Evans continues to enjoy success with Queensland’s oldest active race dog Logan City who at just over five and a half years old is still giving Evans memories he won’t forget.
“It was a huge thrill to see him win at start one hundred late last year. He’s always been just short of a good dog but nineteen wins and a sixty percent place rate and to be five and a half and still going on a Thursday night is unheard of,” he said.
“He just keeps trying and trying even when he got up in mix three and four grade he kept running places, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.”
The Golden Sands marks the end of a revamped summer carnival and Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse said the club was rapt with the new setup.
“It’s a fantastic night to round out our carnival to showcase the best six hundred metre dogs from near and far, the Country Cup to give regional trainers a shot at a feature race and finally the Short Course Final, it’s one of the most unique cards of the year,” Gatehouse said.