By Duane Ranger
Calvert trainer, Greg Elkins, has three pacers lining up at Albion Park tomorrow night (Saturday) and according to the 61-year-old all three are winning chances – thanks to Mount Gambia couple, Peter and Lesley Medhurst.
“I’m working a team of about 14 and Peter and Lesley own more than half of them. They are great owners and I always want to do my very best by them. They have been so supportive of me over the years.
“I’ll be rapt if one or two of them can win, and will be over the moon if all three can do it for Peter and Lesley. It’s not often I go to the races and think all three horses I’m taking can win,” said Elkins.
The TAB tends to agree with the Ipswich horseman.
Jumping Jolt and Bee Gees Bandit have both opened up $2.80 favourites in races one and three respectively, while Big Bruce is the $8 fifth favourite in an open second event.
“They are all fit and are all racing well. If I had to pick the best chance of the three I’d go with Jumping Jolt because I think the second line run through will suit him. He’s also probably more honest and goes into the race with nice winning and place form.
“Big Bruce will also be helped with the number four's scratching. He moves in one and also has the draw to be competitive," Elkins said.
Elkins said he had always been a hobby trainer up until four years ago.
“That’s when Matt started to launch his career and I decided to increase my team. All up I’ve been hands-on for more than 40 years,” said Elkins, who has trained approximately 350 winners and driven 180 more.
His two sons, Matthew (22) and Justin (20) will do the driving behind his trio tomorrow. Elkins’ Senior’s race comments can bee seen below.
Meanwhile, the feature event - the $21,000 Remembering Kathy Jay Open Pace looks a two-horse war between the big guns, Lilac Flash (5) and Colt Thirty One (8), who opened up as the $2.60 and $2.80 favourites respectively.
Lilac Flash, who has won 20 of his 53 starts and placed in 19 others ($155.911) goes into Saturday's 2,138m mobile with three consecutive wins - the last two (April 20 & 27) at Melton's Tabcorp Park when he was a travel mate for Victoria Oaks starter, Smart As Camm Be.
Colt Thirty One goes into the sixth event having won three of his last four starts. The reigning Queensland Horse-of-the-Year finished third behind Jilliby Bandit and Saloon Passage after copping a tough run in that C6 and faster pace at Albion Park on May 11.
For the record, Kathy Jay was a 17-win ($88,765) Sandman Hanover mare who raced between October 1998 and April 2003 at Albion Park, Redcliffe, and the Gold Coast for former horsewoman Vicki Rasmussen.
Here’s Elkins’ comments on his three runners at Albion Park on Saturday:
Race 1: JUMPING JOLT (9) Justin Elkins ($2.80): "He should run well. He usually goes good for Justin. It won’t be easy from the second line, but he’s a consistent horse. I think the main danger to him will be Wayne Graham’s good mare, Josie James (11 - $8). She’s a very quick pacer. I still think my fella is an each-way chance.”
Race 2: BIG BRUCE (5) Matt Elkins ($8): "This gelding comes into four, but is racing up in class. He has had leg problems, but he’s over that. He doesn’t do much track work, because we mainly swim him. That way we can race him every fortnight. I think he’s a good prospect too, but it’s all up to Matty now – I’ve done my work (wink).”
Race 3: BEE GEES BANDIT (11) Matt Elkins ($2.80): "He’s also had a few problems since arrived here earlier this year (three starts ago). He’s also had a few issues with his manners, but he did step okay last start when he won. The barrier draw against but Matt knows the horse and I still rate him a good chance from the awkward draw. Improver.”