By Isaac Murphy
Trainer Robert Britton says in-form Victorian Not Available must find something extra if he is to feature in Thursday's Group 1 Brisbane Cup final from Box 5.
Not Available brought form around Melbourne Cup winner My Redeemer prior to arriving in Queensland last week and showed his class after missing the kick to win his heat in remarkable fashion.
However, despite the eye-catching nature of last week's event, Britton believes he will need to bring his A-game on Thursday.
“I think when he’s in this quality of field he needs to jump out of his skin and somehow find his way across,” Britton said.
“When you’re racing against Miss Splendamiro and Hasten Slowly, you’re not going to give them a start and beat them.”
Although tardy away last start Britton said Not Available had the ability to jump, but his desperation for the rail could sometimes be his undoing.
“He does at times come out really well, unfortunately he’ll be looking for the fence straight away, he’ll need a lot of luck but that’s where he’ll be heading,” he said
“He actually comes out of the boxes with plenty of speed, it’s just that he angles straight for the fence which of course can get you in trouble from an outside draw.
“Every now and then there is a final where a dog misses the kick finds the fence and gets a run through, but you would expect one of those classy dogs to be up there in front somewhere.”
The chaser has been a model of consistency lining up against Australia’s best greyhound’s week in week out, but has yet to be rewarded with a Group One triumph.
“It’s disappointing because he’s done this a number of times where he’s done a great job to make finals and can’t seem to draw a box,” Britton said.
“I’ve lost count of the number of Group finals he’s been in and I think box five is about the closest he’s got to the fence.”
Regardless of the box draw Britton said he expected his charge to improve on last week and had runs on the board at Albion Park as well.
“He’ll take benefit from spending the week in Queensland, he didn’t get up here till around 3pm last Thursday, so he’s had time to settle and relax and his fitness was never a question,” he said.
“What we do know is he’s raced at Albion before and won in 29.60 odd, so it tells you he’s right up there if things go his way.
“We’re holding strong hopes for him though, you can surmise speed maps and analyse races all you want but when the lids open anything can happen.”
Britton acknowledged Miss Splendamiro and Hasten Slowly as the dogs to beat in the race.
“If I didn’t have a dog in the race I’d be thinking the winner would be coming out of the two (Miss Splendamiro) or three (Hasten Slowly) dogs,” he said.