By Isaac Murphy
So often Queensland’s marquee races are dominated by Tony Brett runner’s and while the trainer admits he’s been spoilt with successful dogs he was looking forward to going in as an underdog with Charming Chaos in Thursday night’s Group Three Ipswich Cup.
“There have been a number of occasions when we go into a group of feature final with a target on our back and don’t get me wrong it’s fantastic to be in that position, but with that comes a lot of expectation,” Brett said.
“I was just talking to my wife about the fact it’s nice to be flying under the radar for a change. I think we’re about ten to one and that’s a lot less pressure than being odds on. Anything he can do on Thursday is a bonus.”
Charming Chaos is no mug at three years old he’s racked up thirteen wins from twenty-nine starts, but Brett said injuries have cruelled just how good he could have been.
“Since he’s come back from his latest layoff, it’s clear he’s not quite the dog he was. He can’t run the times that he used to be capable of before his injury,” he said.
“The one thing that hasn’t diminished is his early pace. When I brought him back over the 431 at Ipswich he was jumping and running time, but as soon as I stepped him up to the longer trip he missed the kick at Lismore and then Ipswich, which was a bit of a head scratcher.”
“Luckily he found that toe again in his heat and got to the front with some good acceleration, which he is going to need to replicate in that field on Thursday.”
The dog ran an admirable second to talented Ipswich Futurity winner Velocity Bettina, who took almost the entire 520 metres to track him down and Brett believes if he can take a forward position again, he could pinch the race.
“The seven for him isn’t a bad draw. He runs a fairly straight line out of the boxes and won’t crash into them. The problem may be Wise Misty in the eight who we know is desperate for the rail, but hopefully she can ping clear us and take care of a few inside us,” he said.
“If we can get across, we had the second fastest split to the second section behind Fernando Blaster last week, so with a bit of trouble behind, 30.30 might be good enough to win the race.”
“With dogs like Fernando Blaster, Silver Stunner, Velocity Bettina and Shorino chasing you, we’re going to need those lengths because if they’re in striking distance they’ll likely reign us in.”
After prominent owner Len Antonio passed away earlier this year, he generously willed all the dogs he owned to their trainers. Charming Chaos being one, Brett hoping he can kick off ownership in the best possible fashion at a track that held good memories.
“Thirty Talks won it a few years back and then we actually won it with Regal Lauryn for Len (Antonio) in 2013. We’ve been lucky enough to win a couple of Cups at what I consider my home track where I grew up racing with dad (Dave Brett).”
“It’s great to have a big meeting at Ipswich a couple of times a year. All the dogs are well schooled at the track and it’s much more accessible for family and friends. The place will be pretty rowdy if we can win another one.”
Brett is optimistic Charming Chaos can keep a clean bill of health this preparation, but says he’ll have to wait and see what level he can get back to.
“Will he get back to the dog that ran 29.77 at Albion Park? I don’t know, but I certainly think he can break thirty and with his box speed you can win some big races at Albion in that time,” he said.
“He’s a perfect Summer Carnival dog for up here. He loves the track and all things considered will hopefully be competing in more Group races come January.”