By Isaac Murphy
Slingshot Hammer missed a crack at The Brisbane Cup Final by a nose and Brendan Pursell’s Victorian chaser is back for redemption in the heats of the Box 1 Photography Group Three Queensland Cup.
After his narrow miss in the Brisbane Cup Heats Slingshot Hammer showed his class in taking out the consolation cup the next week and took his good form with him upon return to Victoria, his most recent run in the Group One Silver Chief Final at the Meadows.
Pursell is confident his dog’s rich vein will continue but said the middle distance would be a new challenge for Slingshot Hammer.
“The test for him will be getting the 600, he’s only had the one 600 here in Victoria and got poleaxed at the start,” he said.
“His run home times in his 500 races at home have been really good, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll run it out.”
“He’s got a good turn of foot down the back straight which will hopefully put him in a pretty good position, but he could also burn himself out.”
Pursell said his dog was once again under the care of Steve Scott and seemed to have acclimatised well to Queensland conditions.
“He stayed out at Steven Scott’s last time we had him up there and took to the place really well, so we’ve got him there again and by all reports he’s settled in nicely.”
“We did get the opportunity to trial him at Albion park the other night where he ran 34.92 seconds, which was fairly pleasing because he’s not historically a great trial dog.”
Pursell said the dog was headed towards the Cranbourne Cup on the 3rd of February and said the Queensland Cup was the perfect fit to have him firing for the race.
“We had two options to keep him here and let him go around against some pretty good dogs at Sandown or bring him back north for the Queensland Cup,” he said.
“I jumped at the latter, I just think it’s a perfect opportunity for him to race in Group Three company at a time there is not much on for us at home.”
Pursell outlined several reasons that convinced him to bring his dog back North.
“I looked at what was on and with most eyes on the Paws of Thunder I thought it would be a really good chance to take him up to a winnable race,” he said.
“That’s not to say the Queensland dogs are weaker, Champagne Sally and Big Bad Bob are as good as any.”
“But it gives him a chance to race against a different field rather than the same dogs each week.”
Pursell said trainers from the Southern States had also reacted positively to the recent prize money increases in Queensland.
“We don’t do it for the money but with the recent injections into Queensland greyhound racing it encourages dogs like ours to make the trip up with decent prize money on offer,” he said.
Box 1 Photography provide a comprehensive range of photo packages on track at Albion Park and are represented at all four meets each week.
For further enquiries contact Michael McInally on 0437 308 495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.