By Isaac Murphy
Zipping Cosmo emerged from relative anonymity in 2019 to become one of Queensland’s marquee bitches for Barry Kitchener.
In December of last year, she won the Group Two Futurity in typical back marking fashion, and the bitch looks like she has picked up where she left off and is set for higher heights in 2020.
Her two-year-old stint lasted almost six months, and outside her Group triumph, also garnered an Albion Park Young Guns win and a step up to 600 metres.
She finally got a well-earned break in December and Kitchener has her fresh and ready for another big year.
“She’s done everything right since she’s been back, the little niggling injuries were nothing major we just wanted to hit them on the head," Kitchener said.
"Now they’re sorted, we can concentrate on getting her back to peak fitness.
“We were pretty stiff down at the Richmond Oaks, she was second up into a Group 2 and ran a huge race to finish third in her heat, with the fifth quickest time of all the heats.
“Unfortunately, you had to be top two in your heat to progress to the final, so that was a bitter pill to swallow, but that’s racing, and we press on.”
Zipping Cosmo had only the one run at Albion Park before heading to Richmond, and Kitchener firmly believed she could have made waves in the final, but a brilliant win a week later at Ipswich lifted his spirits for what is to come.
“It would have been great to see her in the final, she would have given them a scare having only been seventy percent fit the week before, but thankfully she looks to have brought that form back home,” Kitchener said.
“I think she’s only one or two runs off finding that peak fitness and a real goal of ours this preparation is to see her break that thirty mark at Albion Park, I’m confident we’ll see that soon.
Zipping Cosmo’s next assignment comes this Thursday at Albion Park, a race on paper that looks very even time wise, and Kitchener thinks the bitch will need all her race sense to get the job done.
“She’s in a very handy race this Thursday, you’ve got a tried and tested dog like Let’s Go Ozzi with plenty of early speed and then some handy young ones in Hammer Down and Chanticleer who all run around that thirty second threshold,” he said.
“I’d be surprised if she breaks it this week from the draw (5), but all she did was surprise us last time in, so we’ll wait and see.”
Kitchener said Zipping Cosmo far exceeded his expectations in her first preparation and at still only two-and-a-half was looking forward to seeing just how good she could be.
“It speaks to her mental maturity that she was able to do that as a two-year-old with her racing style week in week out and she’s only going to get stronger physically as well,” he said.
“We think she can go to a new level this preparation, she’s just about ticked off all of her grades and is in open class now and personally I think she’s ready for it.
“We’ll have her in all the big sprint races up here over the carnival and once we she finds that fitness, we certainly wouldn’t hesitate to maybe look interstate for a feature over the six hundred if we think she’s up to it.
“Zipping Blondie is another bitch we’re really excited about, we’ve started to race her over the 520 metres on a Saturday night at Ipswich followed by a Monday at Albion Park trying to build her tank for the staying trips.”
While Zipping Cosmo holds sway in the Kitchener kennel, the trainer is still pouring plenty of time into up-and-coming stayer Zipping Blondie who accompanied Cosmo to the Richmond Oaks.
“She’s had a taste of 600 metre racing and looked good, once she gets a few more Thursday night 600s in her, a step up to the 700 would be imminent,” he said.
“We don’t want to throw her in the deep end with open class dogs so we may look to take her down to Wentworth Park for the monthly medal over the staying trip.
"I think that’d be a really good way to build her into a staying career.”
With travel plans well and truly in the works for both bitches, Kitchener was happy to report their first trip away was a success.
“A big positive out of the Richmond trip is the way they both travelled, it didn’t impact them at all which was a great sign first trip away,” he said.
“We’re hoping it’s the first of many times we have to travel, so knowing it’s not going to be an issue for either bitch opens up different avenues for us to explore.”
Kitchener likes to keep a boutique kennel where he can really put time into each of his animals and hopes his new facilities can take his racing to the next level.
“Myself and my wife have just bought a new property and are getting everything sorted with the renovations for the house and the dogs at the moment,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to when we’re up and running with the new kennels, the dogs are going to have the best of everything with recovery from racing and injuries.
“I’ve got an engineer setting up a water walker for the dogs, so I’m hoping I can keep going with a strong and healthy team of eight to nine dogs and give them every chance to race their best.”