By Isaac Murphy
Litter mates Irish Ripple and Ripple Rumble didn’t set the world alight in their heats of the Young Guns at Albion Park last week, both enduring a chequered passage in their respective races.
Even so, the pair managed to do enough to grab fourth in their heats and a spot in this week’s final, giving Northern Rivers trainer Michael Lalicz plenty of reasons to believe the duo have what it takes.
“I’ve been tapering both of their preparations towards the Young Guns, so to have a twenty-five percent chance of winning the final is a great result,” Lalicz said.
“I wasn’t too perturbed by the fact they were both down the track a bit in their heats, the box didn’t help Ripple Rumble and Irish missed the kick and never really saw daylight from the inside.
“I took them both to Capalaba on Sunday where Ripple Rumble won her race and Irish Ripple ran second, they both came through their respective races happy and healthy, ready to go for Thursday.”
Lalicz said the box draw would be huge to the pair’s chances with each owning a unique racing style they would require the right box.
“The bitch likes it wide, anywhere from six to eight and will hopefully be prominent early, whereas Irish being a run on dog really needs a draw close to the rail,” Lalicz said.
“They’re very different greyhounds with their racing patterns, Rumble has won most of her races by getting to the front early, while Irish usually sits mid-field and tries to come over the top of them.”
Lalicz said the mix of greyhounds making up Thursday’s final made for an intriguing affair but singled out Richmond Oaks winner Dam Slippery as the bitch to beat.
“It’s a hard race to work out looking at the greyhounds there’s two that will look to lead, three that are strong in the middle section and three that will come home well,” Lalicz said.
“They are all young dogs and you can’t count of them getting it right every week, there might be dogs quicker than Dam Slippery on their night, but for me she’s the one bitch that turns up and runs 29.9 every week.”
Lalicz has a big few months planned for the brother and sister, having picked out several age races he hopes they’ll figure strongly in.
“The plan is to take them to the Futurity and the Derby and they qualify by two days for the Flying Amy,” he said.
“My main priority is to have them spot on for those races, so we’ll let them tell us when they need a run and when they need a rest.”
While Ripple Rumble and Irish Ripple are making a name for themselves north of the border, a third litter sister Southern Ripple out of Fabregas and Busy Rumble is making waves in Victoria.
Lalicz said he always knew she was the out and out star of the bunch and although he was reluctant to sell, the deal was mutually beneficial for all involved.
“It’s terrific for our bloodline to see her doing what she has been down there, I took her as far as I could here, and we got an offer we couldn’t refuse, it was a win,” he said.
“Even though she’s not under our name any more to see her mixing it with the best greyhounds in Australia and winning in 29.19 at Sandown, the quickest time of the year, it’s a real point of pride.”
“The other dog we sent down their Premier Rumble he went just outside the Bendigo track record, he put in a 29.50 run down there over the 520.”
Lalicz said the results the litter have produced are a testament to his long-term mentor well known trainer and breeder Steve Kavanagh, who has established one of the strongest breeding lines Australian greyhound racing has seen.
“The success really affirms that we’re on the right track with our litters to come,” he said.
“I’ve just stuck to Steve’s (Kavanagh) tried and tested line of Rumbles that date back thirty or forty years and apart from the Bales there just aren’t too many other breeds that have been so successful for so long.”