By Isaac Murphy
Sequana set the track alight going 29.81 for Selena Zammit in The Eric Thomson Memorial Maiden Final last week in a great battle with Tony Brett’s Wolf Racketeer. That pair are set for a rematch in this Thursday night’s Novice at Albion Park.
Kennel representative Michael Zammit said the entire team was rapt with the result, given what the bitch overcame with back to back pink draws to win the time-honoured series.
“We were probably relieved more than anything. She’s got a tonne of ability but needed plenty of luck and once she got it, showed what she can do,” Zammit said.
“If we could have picked one box to avoid at her first start it was the eight, but the run was enormous. There were a number of times you could have forgiven her for dropping out and coming back another day, but she just kept chasing.”
“It’s a really admirable quality in a young dog and what was even more pleasing was to see her learn from her mistakes in the heat and despite leaving poorly, showing a lot of race sense.”
Despite Sequana taking round one against Wolf Racketeer, Zammit said he is expecting the pair to form a healthy rivalry, with Tony Brett’s dog also capable of running time.
“Wolf Racketeer for Tony Brett who we beat in the final of the Eric Thomson showed in the heats he is very quick early and if he jumped in the final, he very well could have run around 29.8 as well,” Zammit said.
“It will be another good litmus test for us, because he’ll probably beat us out and you can’t afford to give a dog like that too much leg rope, but I do think the inside draw (2) will help us stay in touch.”
The kennel knew they had something special after a brilliant trial in the lead up to the series, but still aren’t exactly sure how she has transitioned to racing in a field.
“She trialled very well in 29.88 her first go over the 520 the Wednesday night before the Heats, so we knew she could run time, but to do it under race conditions was the most impressive part,” Zammit said.
“It’s interesting for us finding out just what type of a race dog she is. From what we’ve seen in her work she’s got the potential to be a very good railer, but with two starts from the pink we haven’t seen that yet.”
“She hasn’t established a brand. We know she can come out a lot better than her first two starts, so fingers crossed that doesn’t become a habit because she has shown us she can jump in her trials, which would make things a lot easier for her.”
Sequana’s bloodlines are highly credentialled with owner Russell Farrell combining gun sire Zambora Brockie with Lilly Sur Seine, a sister to trainer Rusty Dillon’s Group class stayer Big Easy Red to produce a flourishing litter.
“There have been three city winners out of the litter already at only twenty-two months. Rusty (Dillon) has a brother No Easy Beat who also ran 29.81 in his Novice and we have Stinger Noir who won the Novice Final at Albion Park and has gone 30.30 around Ipswich. They’re all pretty exciting,” Zammit said.
Zammit knows 29.8 maidens don’t come around too often and is hopeful Sequana can continue to trend up and into contention for more feature races.
“In terms of targets, it’s all going to depend on her next few runs. If she keeps going in the right direction and has her confidence up we’re happy to test the water in regards to age races,” he said.
“She’s a week to week prospect. As I said earlier she is still figuring it all out and until she does that we won’t be throwing her in the deep end because it’s pretty clear she’s got a future.”
“She ran home in 12.57 which would have to be close to a Maiden record and was still extremely raw, she’ll be a serious proposition when she becomes more rounded.”