By Isaac Murphy
Lining up form for seventy-two maidens in this Saturday night’s Vince Curry heats is nigh on impossible, but a no stone unturned preparation for Northern Ripple has trainer Michael Lalicz confident he’s done everything for his young pup to prepare him for Saturday night.
The build-up started late last year with impressive performance trials in Northern New South Wales and despite having to scratch a couple of promising kennel mates, Lalicz made Northern Ripple feel like a local.
“Northern Ripple is the lone survivor for this race out of the Fabregas/Indiana Rumble litter, we were hoping to have his brother’s Lord Ripple and the fastest of the litter Loaded Ripple ready for a three pronged attack, but both have fell victim to minor injuries,” he said.
“I started with three and am down to one, but I left no stone unturned in Northern’s preparation and from a nice box (2) I give him a good chance of getting his teeth into the series.”
Lalicz said the pup had a good head on his shoulders and constant signs of growth had him excited about the dog’s chances.
“He’s shown us that he’s fairly consistent through his performance trials at Lismore and Casino and well as the three-week preparation I’ve had educating him at Ipswich,” Lalicz said.
“The performance trials are definitely a bit of an advantage, it just gives the dog an idea of what race day is all about, kennelling, boxing it just seems to prepare the dogs a bit better.”
“It’s a big ask for a young pup away from home so I’ve had him up at Ipswich over the last few weeks giving him a couple of post to posts and a box to box where he improved from 25.21 to 25 flat his second run, he’s headed in the right direction.”
The litter has been good to go for some time, but the lure of Australia’s richest maiden led Lalicz to his extensive groundwork.
“I could have started him a month ago at Albion Park where dogs find it a little easier to navigate the turns, but with the lure of the Vince Curry and a solid month to get him ready I’m not overconfident, but safe in the knowledge he’ll find his way around,” he said.
“The first couple of times he was skipping around the corners where now he knows the lay of the land and is getting around a lot easier.”
“I would have loved to have had Loaded Ripple line up as well, I think he could be something special, he’s trialled brilliantly from day one and his last trial before the race he does an injury, that’s racing he’ll be back.”
Lalicz mentor and renowned trainer Steve Kavanagh was the source of the dam Indiana Rumble with another astute breeder Clint Kratzmann taking notice of the bitch.
“Steve Kavanagh raced Indiana Rumble for a while before he sold her to Clint Kratzmann who had a nice litter out of her and subsequently, I decided to lease her off Clint for this Fabregas litter,” Lalicz said.
“Clint has three and I’ve got four and sold a couple off down at Grafton, we’re hopeful they perform well, and we can continue the line.”
Lalicz who now runs his operation full time out of Kavanagh’s former Pottsville property looks set for a big year with plenty of dogs set to be in the kennels.
“I’ve got a really big focus on breeding this year, next time Ripple Rumble comes on season in six months I’ll look to throw a litter with her, and Josie Rumble has her first litter on the ground here at home to Collision,” Lalicz said.
“The kennels are quite full and even though Steve (Kavanagh) is always lending a hand I don’t want to end up being one bloke looking after forty dogs, I think I’ve found about the right ratio now.”