By Isaac Murphy
Stevick is doing what most dogs his age only dream of.
The Steve Scott trained dog turns two next month and is already mixing it with open company as a hot chance in Thursday Night’s middle distance (600m) Dashing Corsair heats at Albion Park.
“I was rapt to draw box two, he’s not the quickest out and from that 600 metre start if he can sit just behind them on the fence he should work into in nicely,” Scott said.
“It’s a quality heat Brandi Alexander and Infrared Lad stand out as two really good dogs who have a lot more racing under their belt than my boy, he’ll have to be on.
“If we’re lucky enough to get through to the final he’s going to need to draw a box again, with the calibre of dogs he’ll be up against it might be a bit much if he’s wide.”
Scott said it became apparent immediately to him the My Bro Fabio/Esparza pup was destined for the staying trips and threw the training manual out the window when he won his first 600 metre race at twenty-one months old.
“It’s probably the quickest I’ve stepped a dog up to the 600, he just had the three starts at 520, his race pattern was crying out for the longer trip and so far it’s gone to plan,” he said.
Despite the smooth transition Scott is aware the open company Stevick is now mixing it with are a level above his Monday night victories, but the dog was taking it in his stride.
“It’s a big jump and he’s done everything right so far, what really impresses me is he’s doing it with limited experience, you wouldn’t know his age or how many starts he’s had the way he goes about it,” Scott said.
“In his last run over the 710 he missed the kick and was closing on Rasheda at the 600, who we all know is one of the strongest bitches going around to mix it with her was a big tick.”
Scott has had experience with a gun stayer before, but said he leant on a couple of the best staying trainers going whenever he needed advice.
“I trained a dog called Bogey Bekim who I was just in the process of getting up over the 700, before he went to another trainer where he won a Group One,” Scott said.
“I think this dog is at a similar juncture and it’s pretty exciting knowing I’ll have him for the entirety of his career with a really loyal owner (Carolyn Knox).
“I’m always on the phone to John Dart and Rob Britton asking for advice, in my eyes they’re two of the best staying trainers in Australia and they’ve always got time for me when I give them a call.”
Post Dashing Corsair, Scott is set on testing his youngster over an even longer trip, where he believes one day he’ll be a group calibre dog.
“I want to get him to 700, I think he’s shown enough to give him a few runs and see where he’s at,” Scott said.
“I’m certainly not expecting to go out winning Group Ones, but Robbie (Britton) always said to me when you have a decent stayer give them a chance because you have to beat far less dogs than the sprints.”
“He’s got to keep making little steps to get him to where we want him to be, but we’re incredibly blessed to have the time to develop him into that dog and not race the process.”
Scott gave mention to Stevick’s owner Carolyn Knox, who spent her hard earned getting the dog reared and broken in and was reaping the rewards now.
“Carolyn Knox, who has been an owner with me for years brought me the dog in great condition and she really deserves a lot of the credit for his early success, I’ve just put the finishing touches on,” Scott said.