By Isaac Murphy
Most good judges will tell you there is no substitute for early speed in greyhound racing, the majority of winners over the 520 metres at Albion Park needing to get the fly to feature in the finish.
Get back run on dogs are becoming a rare breed over the 520 sprint trip, but there is something endearing about a dog who can give them a start and find away to get up and that’s just what Kingsbrae Clarky will be trying to do for Northern Rivers trainer Dean Turley in this week’s Easter Trophy Final.
The soon to be two-year-old is used to playing the underdog finding a way to win from second last at the winning post first time round at $22 in the heats last week and will go around at long odds again in the final where Turley believes lightning can strike twice if he gets the breaks.
“Although his hallmark is to get back and run on he actually jumps reasonably well from the boxes but finds that flat spot and gets shuffled back before he gets going again,” Turley said.
“I think Phantom Razor from the red will be hard to beat, he gets out quickly and all the other early speed in the race is out wide with Ripple Rumble, Big Boy Bruce and Rumble Master who might cause each other a little bit of interference.”
“Our best chance is to hopefully camp in behind the one or the two on the rail, because as we saw last week if he’s handy enough he’ll take the runs and doesn’t mind shooting a small gap on the fence.”
Turley bought the dog off fellow Northern Rivers trainer and breeder Charlie Northfield in January and said he was still learning how good the dog could be.
“I’ve only had him for three months and prior to that he’d only been over the 420 at Lismore, but I had a pretty strong opinion he’d make it as a 520 dog,” Turley said.
“I gave him a few looks at the 395 at Albion and the 431 at Ipswich and he was showing enough late that he wanted the 520, which he took to like a duck to water, once he gets a bit older the 600 won’t be beyond him either.”
Turley praised the Brisbane Greyhound Club for holding events like the Easter Trophy, where Fifth Grade dogs got their chance to run in a final for good prize money against dogs of similar ability.
“It’s a great initiative by the club, unless you have a topliner you often don’t get the chance to go through a series, it’s good for everyone involved the dog, trainers and owners,” Turley said.
Turley said last weeks win brought the biggest thrill for owner Glenn Lee who had waited over five years for another Thursday night Albion Park winner, following the retirement of his champion bitch Punch One Out.
“Glenn was over the moon when Clarky got up last week, that was his first Thursday night Albion Park winner since Punch One Out won back in 2013.”
“Punch One Out was probably one of Australia’s best bitches around that time winning a Group Three at Albion a couple of different Futurity’s to go along with a couple of Group One placings, she even held the Wentworth Park track record.”
“Since she retired Glenn wanted to keep going and he’s gone on to have a number of dogs with me the latest of which is Clarky.”
Kingsbrae Clarky has yet to run time yet, but his innate ability to weave through a field has Turley bullish about his future.
“His wins haven’t been quick, but that way he navigated that field last week you can’t teach that,” he said.
“I’m planning to leave him over the 520 for the immediate future and hopefully see some improvement, he’s got age on his side and if he puts his hand up for races like The Derby we’ll give him a go if not I’m happy to go through the grades.”
“I like to let the dogs be the boss and they tell me when it’s time, I’m in no rush with him and he’ll tell me when he’s ready to mix it with the big boys whether it be over the 520 or 600.”