By Isaac Murphy
History has become a common theme at Albion Park over the last fortnight and Hall of Fame Trainer Tony Brett continued the trend winning his sixth Group 1 Winter Cup with dual group one winner Jury handing down a verdict to his rivals.
Interstate dogs have dominated the big races in recent weeks and the betting market expected the dominance to continue with track record holder Mepunga Blazer a short priced favourite for the Group 1 sprint.
But it was Jury who was the toast of the town in what was an encouraging night for Queenslanders ahead of next week’s Origin Series.
Brett said during the week it was critical Jury used his box one draw to advantage and his dog did not disappoint flying the lids with a 5.5s first sectional.
“It was lovely to watch from behind the boxes he got a great start came out running,” Brett said.
“Once he led I knew he would be hard to beat and I saw a bit of scrimmage in behind and that was all we needed.”
Jury claimed his second group one on the back of last year’s National Sprint Final and Brett said winning the big races had always been his main training focus.
“Timing is a funny thing and it fell in to place perfectly for this race,” he said.
“The good races are always there and patience is a massive thing in this game, he’s come back as good as he ever was.”
Jury is now set to spearhead Queensland’s Origin Series team next Thursday night and if everything goes to plan another group one may be in his sights down the track.
“I can’t wait to get him in a maroon jersey, we do have to take care of him he’s a dog that’s injury prone, but provided he pulls up well it’ll be on to nationals.”
A clearly emotional Brett said he was moved to claim another Winter Cup in front of a raucous home crowd, paying tribute to his team while soaking in another victory.
“I’d just like to thank everyone who’s come along and all those people behind the scenes, who know who they are, you make this all possible,” he said.
“I don’t really compare them (Group 1’s) I just love them all, I remember our first win, we were just giggling all the way home and I said this is what I want to do this our goal in life to find these sort of dogs and get them into these sort of races.”
“You hope everyone at some stage in their life gets this feeling, it’s just amazing.”
Victorian Hasten Slowly trained by Jeff Britton was forced to settle for second while another Queensland Origin runner Peter Wilson’s It’s Dyllan grabbed a spot on the podium.
Queensland runners were put on notice in the Winter Cup Consolation, with prolific NSW chaser Sky Wave first out and first home in what was her first look at the Albion Park track in 29.81
The other feature race of the night the Chairman’s Cup Final over 710m headlined by group one placed Jalapeno, but it was a young Queensland stayer in Double Gee who continued his meteoric rise.
Kennel representative Michael Zammit said the dog continued to surprise with his progression.
“This dog had only won two races in its career a fortnight ago and he’s won two free for all’s the last two weeks,” Zammit said.
“We hope he’ll be a big player in the stayers Origin series, we always knew he’d get 700 and he’s had to do it against the best in Queensland and come out on top so far.”
Double Gee will be joined by fellow vaunted Queensland stayer Champagne Sally who ran a gallant second ahead of New South Wales dog Ebby Ripper.
Christopher Riordan’s chaser Fabrique put his hand up for Origin selection showing great versatility winning over the 520 a fortnight after claiming the free for all final over the 395m at the track.
In another boost for Queensland’s hopes the Joanne Price trained Infrared Star returned to form just in time for next week’s tilt at the heavily favoured blues.