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What the Trainers Think : The Golden Ticket

By Isaac Murphy

The final match races are set for the inaugural Group Three Golden Ticket with the quickest greyhound this Thursday night given a free pass into January’s Group One Gold Bullion.

Match races were made between greyhounds with the closest qualifying times with the slowest qualifiers first and the fastest last.

Hear from all the trainers about their chances in their heats and The Golden Ticket.

Match Race One – Nangar Diva (1) vs Dynamite Lucy (3)

TAB Odds – Nangar Diva $1.20 – Dynamite Lucy $4.60

Nangar Diva – Dennis Barnes – Qualifying Time – 29.99

“You can tell how she’s going to go when you put her in the box, fifty percent of the time she’ll go straight in no antics and fly out unfortunately last Thursday wasn’t one of those nights she was carrying on, so to still make the final I was rapt.”

“The start cost her the race last week and it will again if she misses it this week, so I’ve been doing plenty of box work with her at home and she’s coming out a treat, but I won’t know until we’re behind those boxes on Thursday night.”

“I’ve looked at some of Dynamite Lucy’s races and she’s a strong dog very capable at the end of the 520 metres and we can’t afford to be giving a dog like that a start.”

“If she gets it right this week, I think she can be the biggest improver of the field, she’s got two strong 520’s in her legs now, we know she loves the track up there and we’re drawn inside.”

Dynamite Lucy – Mary Burman – Qualifying Time - 30.01

“Head to head with Nangar Diva I see it as quite an even contest, overall I can’t see her getting down to the time that she’ll need for the Golden Ticket, but it’s another opportunity for her against Group company.”

“Her second split is what can let her down which makes it essential we go with Nangar Diva early because her first and second sectionals are her best and if she gaps us down the back we probably won’t see her again.”

“Her (Dynamite Lucy) consistency is unbelievable and that’s why you can never rule her out of any race she puts herself in the frame every time she goes around.”

“In my opinion she’s not far away from being an out and out 600 metre dog but small fields like we get in the Golden Ticket give her every chance to avoid trouble and put a good time on the board, whether that’s good enough time will tell.”

Match Race Two – Ash Star (1) vs Cooper Dooper (3)

TAB Odds – Ash Star $1.45 – Cooper Dooper - $2.80

Ash Star – Joanne Price – Qualifying Time – 29.88

“She’s been very well performed for Marcus Lloyd down in Victoria and came to us in fantastic order running a close second to Tauwitchere over the 600 in late November before landing with us at Canungra.”

“It’s been a fun couple of weeks with her coming out and winning first up in good time (29.83) and backing up with a Group Three Heat win, we’re looking forward to a really competitive race this week.”

“The boxes do play a part in match races and the way she’s been beginning we’re hoping she uses the one to punch through and lead and draw on her six hundred metre pedigree to hold Cooper Dooper at bay.”

“He’s a quality dog you only have to look at what he did running Simon Told Helen down to two lengths in the Derby it’s a very even matchup.”

Cooper Dooper – Tom Tzouvelis – Qualifying Time – 29.96

“He was a little disappointing I thought last Thursday, I thought he might go a little bit quicker (29.96) but he’s had a few big weeks and possibly was a little bit drained.”

“I’ve given him a nice light week the drop-in heat has been a godsend and he looks much better in himself, I’m certainly hoping for an improved performance this week.”

“It’s an interesting matchup, all credit to Joanne (Price) who has the bitch flying since she’s come up here from Melbourne.”

“She’s shown she can run in the 29.8 range consistently, with our best 29.78 behind Simon Told Helen in The Derby on the clock there’s nothing in it.”

“They’re very similar in the first and closing sectionals, we may have a slight edge down the back so it’s going to be vital we’re close enough to capitalise on that because they’ll both be coming home strong.”

“Ideally we put some pressure on her around the first turn and if he can take over down the back it’s all credit to her if she can find the lead again.”

“She’s got the inside line on us which is an advantage when they are so close on ability, but he’s shown in the last few weeks the ability to run past some good dogs.”

“It would be fantastic to win the Golden Ticket and go straight through to the Bullion, but realistically I’d be over the moon if he could win his race and run a personal best on Thursday.”

Match Race Three – Fernando Blaster (3) vs Snags Mckenzie (1)

TAB Odds – Fernando Blaster $1.60 – Snags Mckenzie $2.35

Fernando Blaster – Terry Jordan – Qualifying Time – 29.83

He’d had three weeks off since he won the Casino Cup over the slightly shorter journey of 484 metres, so I thought back up to the 520 he might be a little underdone, but I expect to find a couple of lengths this week.”

“He bungled the start nearly went down on his nose and still won comfortably in 29.83 when I was just hoping he’d make it through, so I’m pretty happy where he’s at.”

“What worries me with Snags Mckenzie is his ability to scrape the paint the whole way around, where as my bloke is all over the shop running off at the turns and drifting wide in the home straight, he gives away two or three lengths with that pattern.”

“I know we can begin a lot better and we’re going to need to, I’m hoping to be at least three lengths in front coming to the 600 boxes, I’d say he’s a little stronger home.”

“There’s no plan B it’s just get out and go, we all know on his night he can run time and while Sennachie and Sequana are deserved favourites for the Golden Ticket he can push them at his best.”

Snags Mckenzie – Dave Burnett – Qualifying Time – 29.87

“I was confident going into last week it would take a hell of a run to beat him, because you know every time he’s going to get out and head straight for that rail and when Regal Recall tried to head us he wasn’t about to give it up.”

“I’ve looked at Fernando Blaster and what he’s been doing lately he’s obviously a quality dog, but you really have to worry about your own in these head to heads.”

“We’re undefeated from the red and will find lengths on last week where he lost 1.2 kilos on the flight up and still managed to win his heat.”

“He’s been with Steve Scott this week and from all reports he’s looking a new dog, if Fernando Blaster comes out and beats him hats off because my guy will be travelling.”

“In my opinion he’s got the ability to challenge Sennachie and Sequana, a couple of starts ago 25.08 in beating Whiskey Riot in a Heat of the Ballarat Cup you won’t find better form lines than that.”

Match Race Four – Sennachie (1) vs Sequana (3)

TAB Odds – Sennachie $1.50 – Sequana $2.60

Sennachie – Steve White – Qualifying Time – 29.67

“I’m hoping we’ve got some more in us, he’s three tenths outside his track record he can go a lot quicker, but he’s up against a classy bitch in Sequana and we saw there wasn’t much between them last week.”

“We’re pretty fortunate in that he’s competed in four match races already in his career, he knows what it’s about and he knows how to win them.”

“This will be his toughest test yet he’s on Sequana’s home turf and we’re going to need a few lengths on her early because we saw what she can do late.”

“This is his fourth consecutive run over the trip he should be really hitting peak fitness this week there’s no excuses.”

“To win the Golden Ticket would be fantastic not having to put him through the heats of the Gold Bullion, but he knows how to win a Group One up there and if we do go down tomorrow night we’ll push on.”

Sequana – Selena Zammit – Qualifying Time – 29.68

“It’s a bit strange taking care of our biggest rival, but Steve (White) would do the same for us, they’re both in great order and it should be another showdown.”

“I’d say going in we’re hopeful more than confident, ability wise she’s not giving much away, but he has the runs on the board and could easily find one or two lengths early which would make him very hard to run down.”

“On a positive note with just the two of them going around there is no traffic for her at any stage and she’s learnt how to come off the heals of a dog and go past them which she will need to do from behind this week.”

“Even finishing second last week was a real win for us seeing her go that time and almost gun down a track record holder she’s headed in the right direction and we’re pretty excited what’s to come.”

“Everyone is talking about our matchup but you can’t underestimate some of the other dogs I wouldn’t be shocked to see Fernando Blaster and Nangar Diva to be big improvers.”