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Irish Ripple ready to make waves in the Eric Thomson Memorial

By Isaac Murphy

The Eric Thomson Memorial Maiden Final shapes as a fascinating prelude to tomorrow night’s Group Three Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park, with a host of promising young sprinters chasing the $13,500 winner’s cheque.

In what is sure to be a competitive affair Northern New South Wales trainer Michael Lalicz said he believes his impressive heat winner Irish Ripple is a live chance but was also wary of other key runners.

“I’m pretty confident he’ll be an inside dog so (box) three suits,” Lalicz said.

“I think the ten My Windsong will be the key to the race. He’s drawn one outside us and has a little bit of early speed, so hopefully he sticks to the middle of the track because if we can get to the rail he’ll be hard to beat. 

“I’m still quite wary of a number of dogs in the race, especially Black Loch for the Zammits and Painted Picture for Tony (Brett) in six and eight will give us a run for our money.”

Irish Ripple is one of three active runners Lalicz bred out of Fabregas and Busy Rumble and despite the former’s credentials his brother and sister loom as arguably equal to greater talents.

“The little sister Ripple Rumble is going the best of the three,” Lalicz said.

“She’s just had the one go at Albion over the 520m and was beaten by her brother Southern Ripple when she sustained an injury to her toe, so we put her away for a couple of months and we’ve got her going around at Casino on Friday.

“She’s got a bit on her brothers with genuine early speed and I think she’ll run the 500m out too, she definitely beats the boys on more occasions than not.”

Lalicz trains out of Dungay, which sits just on the wrong side on the Queensland border, the property has long been a playground for greyhounds with Lalicz buying the land off veteran trainer Steve Kavanagh.

“We bought the property of Steve Kavanagh four years ago and I bred a litter for him which contained Joyce Rumble,” Lalicz said.

“He gave me Busy Rumble which is the Ripple litter’s mother about two years after we bought the property.”

Lalicz said Kavanagh has been a huge influence on his operation drawing on his experience to mould his own success.

“Steve still comes over pretty much every day and has been a huge help giving me tips and training methods,” he said.

 “I basically decided to follow in the footsteps of Steve, watching the Rumble line over the years they always made it as 500m dogs and didn’t see any reason to go away from a recipe of success.

“He’s a massive influence on me, I look at it as a bit of an apprenticeship at the moment, you can’t knock back 40 years of experience.”

Despite the small sample size both master and apprentice agree all three dogs to race out of the litter have a big future.

“Both Steve and I agree that there’s much more in the dogs, even though their minimal form has been good they keep surprising and getting faster and faster,” he said.

“I think the key to it is patience, as long as we don’t push them into something they’re not ready for the results will come.

“For Irish and Southern Ripple I’ll probably be aiming up at the Molly Campbell Silver Dollars in two weeks if everything goes well for Irish tomorrow night and, for Ripple Rumble, if everything goes to plan at Casino we’ll hopefully have her at Albion over the 520m in a few weeks’ time.”