By Isaac Murphy
Frieda Las Vegas looms as one of the most interesting runners in her heat of the Group 3 Golden Ticket this Thursday night.
The multi-distance marvel drops back to the sprint trip for the first time since October where she ran a sizzling 29.65 is her Rising Stars heat, and with her saying ability, will be charging at them late in a race trainer Tony Zammit can’t wait for.
“We’ve seen similar concepts work in Victoria and good on the club for making a race like the Golden Ticket happen where all dogs find a fairly even playing field - it’s going to make for some serious racing,” Zammit said.
“Looking at our heat, you’ve got dogs like it Ain’t Blly and What a Debacle who are the likely leaders but ourselves and Shakey Diesel from behind should get our chance at some stage as well - it’ll be good viewing.”
Frieda is more noted for her exploits over the middle-distance and staying trips of late, but no-one is writing off a bitch who won her first eight starts at the Albion Park 500-metre start and this week she only has three rivals.
“As we know with Frieda, she’s got the knack where she always wants to rail and with four instead of eight even from the outside draw it makes it a lot easier on her to find the right spot,” Zammit said.
“Even though she should appreciate the concept, it’s still mighty hard going up against a Wentworth Park winner in What a Debacle and a couple of Best 8 winners in Shakey Diesel and It Ain’t Billy.
“I’m hoping we can let the speed go, I think What a Debacle is the likely leader and as long as we find his back at some stage down the back we should be coming home best, if she makes the next round, the two dog match races are better again for her.”
A three-week absence from the winner’s circle is a rarity for Zammit’s bitch, but she hasn’t been far off in any of her runs.
“She’s done a few uncharacteristic things her last few runs up over the 600 and 700 metres, she’s jumping a lot better which is not necessarily an advantage for her, she likes it when the field strings out and she’s just found a bit of trouble,” Zammit said.
“She was all over a winner in her 700 last week and her strength became her weakness when she tried to go around the dog rather than take the run underneath.
“I’m not too concerned, she’s still managed to run second, third and second in Group and Free For All company and won four of her last five before that - the form’s good.”