By Isaac Murphy
Sennachie etched his name in the record books winning last years Brisbane Cup in track record time and after his thrilling Golden Ticket win sent him directly into this Friday’s inaugural Group One Gold Bullion the dog has a chance to create a lasting legacy at the track for Victorian Trainer Steve White.
Despite winning the Golden Ticket Sennachie was given no favours with a tough draw for Friday’s Final, where White believes he must find a couple of lengths early to win the race.
“The box draw (5) hasn’t done us any favours, he’s going to have to be at his very best to come out and cross the inside brigade early it’s another challenge,” White said.
“Box draws have the potential to win Group races and can also cost you Group races, I’m certainly not putting a line through him he’s a winning chance against any field in Australia, but it’s made it a lot harder.”
“He’s been running around 5.55 to the first mark at Albion realistically he needs to get somewhere down in the 5.40 range, which he has done on previous occasions there’s just no room for error.”
The tendencies of dogs around Sennachie will make it hard early as will familiar sparring partners Feral Franky and Good Odds Harada who were both impressive heat winners last week.
“Charming Chaos in the red is quick early and wants to get off the track and Fernando Blaster has the ability to ping the lids and likes to get up the track from inside us, if we can clear those two and skip away nothing will run the time he can,” White said.
“When you get to this level you expect to be racing dogs like Feral Franky and Good Odds Harada on a regular basis and there’s never much between them.”
“The other two trump us with their draws, Feral Franky should find the fence behind Charming Chaos and Good Odds Harada will be given plenty of room to move from the three, our ace in the hole is obviously the time he can run, if he can produce something around his 29.38 mark, they can’t run that.”
Timing is everything with dogs and White didn’t miss a beat to have his charge peaking at the right time, bringing the dog up three weeks ago to prepare for his summer campaign.
“He’s one of those dogs the more runs you get into him the better he gets,” White said.
“I thought he was a bit light on coming off the Feral Franky match race, so I got him up there to the Zammit’s place a week out from the Golden Ticket Heats to give him a trial, he improved again in the heat and peaked for the final it worked out really well.”
“We’ve just got to hold him there till Friday now, we went and gave him a post to post at Albion Park on Sunday and he looked super, so we’re just resting up till Friday.”
Sennachie is arguably already one of the greats at Albion Park with the fastest two 520 runs of all time but a Gold Bullion win could make him the stuff of legend in Queensland.
“Brisbane has been great to us, winning his first Group One, a track record, now a Group Three and a shot at winning an inaugural Group One he’s got a real chance to go down in history as one of the best dogs to race there if he can pull it off,” White said.
“His only defeat was when he was severely interfered with in the Flying Amy, other than that he’s such an honest chaser and I expect him to make his own luck again.”
As with all great champions they have a shelf life and while White is keen to cement the dogs racing legacy he could prove even better at stud.
“I don’t think we’ll see a full year of racing out of him I’ll take him home after them race and head towards the Temlee and Australian Cup and take stock then,” White said.
“He’s got a big career ahead of him at stud and as much pride we take in his racing his progeny could prove just as good.”
“I’ll try to take him out while he’s still at his best and given his resume we’re spoilt for choices where to go with him, so I’ll take my time with that decision.”
Sennachie is not the only Fernando Bale/Rhonda Rocks star on display tomorrow night with kennel mate Red Rock ready to make a splash over the 600 metres in the Clem Jones Cup.
“I’ve got his brother Red Rock up here as well at the moment running in the Clem Jones Cup tomorrow night who should be really hard to roll from the inside draw (1),” White said.
“He trialled well last week thirty-five flat first look at the track over the six hundred which I was pretty pleased with.”
“Hopefully he can follow he brothers’ pattern and take a few tenths off over the next few weeks, I’m planning to keep him up here for the Group Three Gold Sands with the heats starting next week.”
Red Rock has only recently graduated to the longer trip but a couple of stylish victories have ensured him a future over the journey.
“He’s looked right at home since I got him up over the 600 and beyond, he won his first start at Sandown over a couple of Group dogs and won a Memorial race over Group One winner Rajasthan at Sale, the signs for a middle-distance star are there,” White said.
White said he couldn’t express his gratitude to Selena and Michael Zammit enough for taking in Sennachie the week before and the duration of The Golden Ticket especially given the remarkable final between the two.
“I can’t be more grateful to Mick and Selena (Zammit) it’s a big responsibility taking dogs, I’ve done it before and it puts a bit of pressure on to keep them at their best and they couldn’t have done a better job,” he said.
“Seeing how they operate and treat their dogs when we won the Brisbane Cup in June I knew I could trust them with him and the selfless way they went about it with him being Sequana’s biggest rival in the Golden Ticket speaks to the kind of people they are.”