By Isaac Murphy
Call Me Ugo is a two year old on the rise, entering this week’s National Sprint Heats on the back of four consecutive victories and trainer Brett Hazelgrove believes his sprinter has scope for more improvement moving forward.
Call Me Ugo has drawn the sought after box one for Heat two of the National’s qualifiers, Hazelgrove saying his dog was finally ready to take on the best dogs Queensland has to offer.
“I’ve taken my time with him, he’s still fairly young as a two year old that’s why I didn’t race him last Thursday night I thought I’d wait for the Victorian and Sydney dogs to clear out before I gave him a crack,” Hazelgrove said.
“He’s come along as well as I could have hoped the last six starts, so I’m confident he’s up to it.”
A feature of Call Me Ugo’s winning streak has been his blistering early sectionals, something that Hazelgrove has worked hard on with his sprinter.
“His box manners are great but it’s something I’ve had to work at, running him over the 395 and 331 earlier in his career has definitely helped,” he said.
“I like my dogs to get out in front in the 520 and stay out of trouble and he’s been pretty good at that so far coming out in 5.52 to the first mark.”
Hazelgrove said he couldn’t have asked for a better draw for what will be Call Me Ugo’s sternest test.
“It’s a huge bonus to get the box against dogs of that quality and he loves the one so we couldn’t have asked for a better draw,” he said.
Hazelgrove said his dog’s racing temperament was where he wanted it to be, but as a pup he wasn’t always the pick of the litter.
“His best racing is in front of him, he took a while to mature he was a bit of a handful around home ripping things up, but he’s finally started to get there, that’s why I didn’t want to put him in the top grade too early,” he said.
“He was actually the least fancied out of the three of them in the litter, Princess Emily is his sister and All About Tiger is his brother who clearly broke in best, but I think the tide has turned.”
Hazelgrove also lines up All About Tiger in Heat one and despite a run of outs is confident his dog can return to form.
“All About Tiger just hasn’t been handling the cold weather at the moment, I think we’re getting out of that now and he can start to put his races together again,” he said.
“He hasn’t been in his best form but I’m not ruling him out tonight, on his best he’s a classy animal.”
When asked to pick between his dual hopes Hazelgrove was emphatic in picking his best chance.
“If I had to pick between the two I’d have to take Call Me Ugo on his last start it was pretty impressive.”