By Isaac Murphy
Victorian chaser Hasten Slowly’s career is only picking up pace and after four Group One seconds in the last year trainer Angela Langton believes her dog can go one better as he begins his Brisbane Cup assault this Thursday night.
Not yet three years old Hasten Slowly has established himself as one of the nation’s premier young sprinter’s and a return to Albion Park where he won the Group Three Flying Amy Classic and ran second in the Group One Winter Cup was always on the cards.
“We were always planning to bring him back up, he’s always gone well up there and he’s probably a better dog than when he went up earlier in the year,” Langton said.
“He’s grown up a little bit, matured and had a lot more racing experience, so it should hold him in good stead for what’s a deep race.”
Hasten Slowly has been racing in elite company, most notably finishing second to Poke The Bear in The Group One Top Gun Sprint at the Meadows and Langton believes a similar performance will mount a strong case for The Brisbane Cup.
“I think his form will stack up, he’s been racing some pretty tough dogs every week,” she said.
His heat is by no means easy there are some talented dogs, but he’s definitely up there class wise.”
Hasten Slowly has raced in four different states this year in search of an elusive Group One, but Langton said travel comes with the territory and wouldn’t hinder the dog.
“He’ll fly up Wednesday night and go straight to the track Thursday,” she said.
He’s already seen the track earlier in the year and he’s drawn well (2), so I didn’t necessarily think he needed a trial.”
“He’s got a fantastic temperament and is the type of dog who can travel without losing any of his form and always performs first up, so we’re pretty confident he’ll carry his fitness Thursday night.”
Hasten Slowly lines up in Heat Two of five on Thursday night’s card and meets the likes of proven locals Wise Misty, Fire to Rain and Painted Picture, but Langton believes her dog is ideally placed to run a big race.
“We were hoping to draw an inside box, which we’ve got (2),” she said.
“He loves the rail, so hopefully he can begin well and get around the first corner, he’s very strong and if he’s in the first two or three dogs he’ll be a big chance to win the race.”
After finishing second in The Australian Cup, National Sprint Championships, Winter Cup and TAB Top Gun in one year you could forgive Langton for being a little tired of being the bridesmaid, but the trainer is confident the dog’s best is yet to come.
“He’s not three until the end of February, so he’s still got a little bit of time and has been racing in terrific form and doing everything right,” she said.
“He’s certainly a chance to win a Group One, a lot of factors have to come together with box draws and the element of luck, but he’s got talent in spades.”
“I’m hoping he can really come into his own in the next six to twelve months, thankfully he’s always stayed injury free and if we keep him sound I can’t see any reason why his best racing isn’t in front of him.”
While the Brisbane Cup is the immediate focus, Hasten Slowly is in the enviable position of being a major player wherever he lands next.
“He’s put himself in that class where there are always races coming up for him,” she said
“We haven’t picked anything out yet, but you’ve got the Australian Cup in February where he ran second last year, so it would be nice to go one better.”
“Then we have alternatives like the Hobart Thousand, it’s just a matter of us sitting down and figuring out what’s best for him in his career.”
“He’s been that good to us, he doesn’t owe us anything.”