By Isaac Murphy
A late callup for the Group One National Derby Final the Clint Kratzmann owned Oh Mickey was happy to fly under the radar in the build up before running them ragged in the final, Mickey’s brother Smokin’ Wits wasn’t afforded the same anonymity being the brother of a Group One winner but did his best impression winning his heat of the Vince Curry last Saturday night.
Smokin’ Wits and Oh Mickey came to Kratzmann out of his former race bitch Iona Champion and Fernando Bale, Kratzmann electing to train Oh Mickey himself and while handing Smokin’ Wits off to one of Queensland’s most astute trainers.
“I don’t like to take too many on at one time, so I decided to keep Oh Mickey and train him myself and give Smokin’ Wits to Darren Russell to train,” Kratzmann said.
“I’ve always had a huge deal of respect for Darren’s (Russell) training prowess, watching him go about his work over the years he always has his greyhounds primed for the big night, and that’s no accident they’re trained to the minute.”
Russell’s preciseness was never more valuable when overcoming box eight in your first start in the Vince Curry heats a race Kratzmann is keep adding to his growing mantle.
“I’ve watched the Vince Curry Series from afar for twenty years but in the five years I’ve been back I think this is the strongest crop of young talent I’ve seen,” he said.
“People say you can’t judge it off one heat, but I think you can and I’m of the opinion you’ll see at least ten really god pups kick on to bigger things in the next few months and people coming up from down south for our age races are going to have their work cut out.”
“It would be a dream come true I’d love to win the Vince Curry especially in a tough year like this, but I’m looking forward to the next twelve months with this dog wherever the cards fall.”
Oh Mickey has set the bar high for his brother but the dog didn’t disappoint, Kratzmann not afraif to point out the similarities.
“It was a massive win on Saturday night, Kerry Hoggan’s dog Canya Kick is a nice pup and they went at each other right until that final sectional marker where my bloke dug in and showed his class in the run home,” Kratzmann said.
“Credit to Darren (Russell) he had him trained to perfection with a couple of five hundred trials at Ipswich and again his timing was spot on, the trials were all about speed whereas he improved lengths to run 11.88 home.”
“It’s a big call after one run but I definitely put him right there with Oh Mickey who obviously has the runs on the board, but from what I saw Saturday night I think he can be just as good.”
Kratzmann is just as much invested in his breeding as training and couldn’t be prouder of what his brood bitch Iona Champion and Fernando Bale have produced.
“It’s good to have a dog with talent, but what you really want is one with talent and a bit of grit and Smokin’ Wits showed that on Saturday night, it’s the same determination to chase that I see in Oh Mickey and is a credit to the breed,” he said.
“For me his want to chase sets him apart and it’s no fluke, his mother Iona Champion has it Oh Mickey has it, they’re an incredibly reliable line.”
“To race the mother as a Free For All Albion Park bitch and to see her pass on her traits as a greyhound with a touch more ability than her is something I’m very proud of.”