By Isaac Murphy
Double Gee has beaten Queensland’s best stayers without blemish at Albion Park, so it is only fair the boom Selena Zammit stayer will represent the state at the National Distance Final at Sandown Park tonight.
Double Gee is unbeaten in five runs over the 710m at Albion Park after breaking the Casino 600m track record in a 20-length win.
Although the stayer has clearly taken all in front of him at home, kennel representative Michael Zammit says the Nationals are an unknown challenge.
Having not travelled further than Casino before in his young career the kennel took Double Gee for a trial at Sandown last week with mixed results.
“He didn’t go that good he looked a bit lost early but he’s that sort of dog and it didn’t shock us he reacted to the track and the travel like that,” Michael Zammit said.
“Once he got going he seemed to like the track so he’ll definitely benefit from the run, but I guess that’s why we chose to take him down there and give him a look.”
Seven will be the lucky number for Double Gee as he jumps from the black and is currently installed as a $7 chance on UBET fixed.
Robert Britton’s Victorian kennel mates Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam head the market.
Zammit is well aware of the enormity of taking on Australia’s best stayer at his home track from a sticky draw.
“Our dog’s going extremely well but we’re realistic that we’re taking on Tornado Tears on his home turf and as good as I think our dog is he’s going to have his work cut out, but in saying that he’s good enough if the breaks go his way,” he said.
“The biggest challenge is going to be where he gets to in the run, we’d like him to be on the fence from the first corner so from out there in the seven he’s going to need a fair bit of luck.”
Zammit said Double Gee’s box manners were going to play a big part in giving the dog a chance to show off his late race strength.
“Every now and again he can jump well but he doesn’t normally have a lot of speed, so we’re hoping two weeks between 700’s will help him jump a little bit quicker, but when you look at his racing pattern it’s not the norm with him,” he said.
“You never know and one thing in his favour is he is very strong and a big strider, so if he can just be in a position where he can balance up around the first turn he’s a chance.”
While Zammit admitted it would be a tough task on Friday he said Double Gee would take great benefit from mixing it with Australia’s best.
“He’s come along at a time where it’s a very good era of stayers, headed by Tornado Tears. Our boy would’ve been the quickest around Albion Park by a margin if not for him,” he said.
“It’s going to be a good experience regardless, even if he doesn’t win with the draw and the field we just want him to get around alright and run a credible race to really let us know he’s going to be competitive with the best of them moving forward.”
While Zammit is trying to keep a lid of Double Gee’s potential, the kennel knows they’ve got a special one.
“We’ve had a few good sprinters but we’ve never had a stayer this good so it’s pretty exciting,” he said.