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Pump It in pole position for Listed Carnival Chase

Race-6-Pump-It-D85-5222-jpg.JPGBy Isaac Murphy

Pump It was pummelling her competition late last year, with everything having clicked for Mark Saal’s talented bitch who was sweeping aside whoever was put in front of her.

The reality of training a good bitch is that they’re eventually going to come on season, and however untimely, Saal knew he needed to bite the bullet and do best by Pump It.

Four months later, she’s rewarding his patience on the cusp of winning the Listed Carnival Chase over the middle-distance, after regaining her form in a tough Free For All a fortnight ago.

“It was tough to have to tip her out when I did, she’d won seven races in a row including the big breakthrough with the Group 2 Queensland Oaks but knowing how much racing she had left, I didn’t want to delay her season,” Saal said.

“I made sure she stayed on the sidelines as long as she needed to, I’ve tried to bring bitches back early from season before and I just don’t think it’s great for them.

“Her first run back over the 600 where she was just beaten by Sequana was huge, she’d had one sprint and a couple of trials and that was it, I knew then she’d come back even better than before.”

Pump It had put the writing on the wall with her previous run and produced at the right time in her Listed heat.

“She had the class advantage in her Carnival Chase heat last Thursday, but I knew Irinka Lesa in two might beat us out from box three which could throw a spanner in the works and that’s what ended up happening,” Saal said.

“To Pump It’s credit, she took a bit of contact and still found a really nice spot just behind the leaders and she had the superior run home.

“I liked the fact she hooked to the outside and breezed on past, she’s had a few problems overtaking, but she looked really comfortable.”



Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 7:40 PM

GARRARD'S Carnival Chase (L) H

If the bitch wasn’t already a good chance in this week’s Final, she was immediately backed into favouritism after drawing the red.

“On paper she should be very hard to beat again in this week’s Final, she should lead from the red with Ninetymile King in the two wanting to get to the outside and I don’t think they’ll catch her,” Saal said.

“She did get galloped on in the run last week and while she was never a danger of missing Thursday, I haven’t been able to work her like I normally would.

“That said the last couple of weeks have shown what she’s capable of and what a way to start her Winter campaign if we’re able to pinch the Listed Carnival Chase, before we go 700.”

Saal and Pump It have come full circle from around this time last year when the bitch saw the 600 metres for the first time.

“She had her first 600 in May last year, she’d just been luckless over the sprint as a young bitch, and I thought it was the right time,” he said.

“She came out and broke the first sectional record and was sailing along down the back until she hit a brick wall coming into the straight, that was just a training error on my part - she wasn’t even two then and simply wasn’t ready.

“It’s rewarding to see that the hard work we’ve put in over the last 11 months is starting to pay off and she goes around this week a red-hot chance to win a Listed middle-distance race.”

Pump It

Saal said he thought the race might have come a couple of weeks too early for the bitch, who was sidelined by a niggling toe injury after her first start back, but her form has put the trainer at ease.

“I would’ve liked to have had a couple more runs in her before that race, but she just had a little issue with her toe which cost her a start in the Winged Runner, but she’d trialled huge at Ipswich the week before - I knew she was flying,” he said.

“I had her winter calendar all planned out with the eventual goal of getting her to the 700, I thought the couple of weeks might have thrown her out a little but she’s right on track.

“When she came on season, I looked and saw the amount of quality staying races we had coming up in the Winter Carnival in six months’ time and said to myself then I’m going to give her every chance.”

Saal has plenty of reason to believe the bitch can thrive over 700, coming from a strong staying line.

“I had a bitch in the litter before Pump It called Babs Kramer out of Simply An Angel and she could run all day, we couldn’t find a distance long enough for her,” he said.

“I assumed being a half-sister with a staying dam, Pump It might be similar, but as we’ve seen she’s far more explosive.

“All the Simply An Angel dogs I’ve had have done their best racing past three-years-old which gives me even more confidence Pump It’s got plenty left.”