By Isaac Murphy
Steve Scott and his partner Kelli Olsen have put the hours in for S & K Racing to become one of the most recognisable brands in Queensland racing. There was no way they were missing out on a chance to win Australia’s richest maiden series, the Vince Curry with six nominations for this Saturday’s heats at Ipswich.
Scott said he’d had success in the race in the past but victory had so far eluded him in what he described as one of the most difficult races to conquer.
“Being so tough to win is probably what makes me love the race even more, we’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of finalists without winning and we’ll keep coming back until we do, Scott said.
“It’s the richest and deepest Maiden Series in Australia and if you can come through nine heats and seventy-two dogs to finish on top it’s a pretty special feat.”
Add the field size to the fact most of the greyhounds are making their first race starts and the heats can often be the most difficult hurdle.
“With all of these young dogs we’re finding out how they go sitting in the kennels, rugging up for a race and getting around the first turn in a full field at Ipswich,” Scott said.
“In my experience especially with the heats a lot of dogs run off at that first turn and you’ve just got to hope you avoid the trouble and see what they can do.”
“The toughest aspect of it all is trying to line up the form, you hear whispers that so and so’s dog has run time, but the heats are really like a full field trial for most of them and if we get a few through we see their tendencies next week.”
Scott took us through a runner by runner basis is what he hopes is a fruitful night in Saturday’s nine heats.
Farmor Galliano – Heat 2 – Box 5 – Farmor Las Vegas/Farmor Classic
“She’s one of our own breeds which always adds a little bit more interest and she’s going alright on what I’ve seen so far.”
“I trialled her the other day and it was nothing special 31.30, but she’s a mad keen chaser and could make a big jump.”
“The thing I’m worried about with that breed is they’re a bit over the top, so it’s a positive she gets out in race two and doesn’t have to sit in the kennel too long.”
“Box wise I’m a little worried about her, I don’t know enough if she’ll handle a centre draw.”
Tahiti Beach – Heat 3 – Box 7 – Kinloch Brae/El Bella Beach
“She beats the other two bitches if we put them in a trial, she’s the quickest out early but if that’s fast enough to lead this field I’m not sure.”
“She’ll go around 5.40 to the first mark which is more than respectable, but when I look at the other dogs in the race, like Speedy Bonus for Evelyn Harris which has had some public trials down south and trainers like Darren Russell and Selena Zammit don’t put their dogs in unless they think they can win.”
“We’ve been lucky with the number of dogs we’ve had in they’ve been able to trial in fields but this is a different test for her.”
Farmor Watchers – Heat 4 – Box 3 – Kinloch Brae/Farmor Eye Am
“I’ve had better prospects going into this race but he’s certainly above average.”
“Like his brother he would have hit the track a little earlier if it wasn’t for injury and this race has come along at the right time for him hopefully to get a touch of luck.”
“There is not much at all between him and his brother, on what I’ve seen it could be a length either way, whoever gets the breaks on the day.”
Farmor Malibu – Heat 5 – Box 5 – Farmor Las Vegas/Farmor Classic
“Very similar to her sister, her best trait is she wants to chase and you can’t buy that with a young pup.”
“She’ll be doing it tough from a middle draw as well, but she wants to race and unless she gets cleaned up on the first turn she’ll continue to run it out and hopefully progress another week.”
“If I could change the boxes for her and her sister I think it would make a whole lot of difference, I’d love to see them just qualify for the semis.”
Farmor Beach – Heat 8 – Box 1 – Fernando Bale/Kinloch Beach
“I love the dog ability wise I probably put him on top of all our runners, but he’s very young and this race probably came around a few months too quick for him.”
“We were unable to get a trial into him on Monday being a public holiday, but box one is a huge help he’ll have no problem getting around the first turn.”
“He has had a box to box and a post to post where he went low twenty-fives over the 431, despite the lack of experience I’ve got confidence in his ability.”
“The rest of the litter probably won’t start for another two months he’s that far ahead and if anything goes wrong through the series, we’ll head to Wentworth Park for the Maiden Series there.”
“He’s capable of winning the race just being a baby at seventeen months is the question.”
Farmor Watch Me – Race 9 – Box 2 – Kinloch Brae/Farmor Eye Am
“Him and his brother Farmor Watchers have both had a few little niggles through the break in process and the race has come along at the right time.”
“He’s no superstar at this point, but he can run and when the timeline lined up with the Vince Curry we were always going to give him a chance.”
“He’s part of a handy litter, but personally I don’t think we’ll see the best of him and the rest of the litter until they’re around two and a half, the Kinloch Brae’s tend to take a little time.”
“I’m very happy with what I’ve seen so far but there’s room for improvement with age.”
“It was a good run second at Albion Park, Greg Stella’s dog that beat him looks a very handy one and I think my bloke come along a bit from that run.”