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Trainer Darryl Thomas keen to see "best mate" breakthrough at Group level

By Jordan Gerrans 

The team behind Darryl Thomas at his kennel reckon the NSW-based trainer is making the trip to Brisbane this week just to “chase the glory” of the Group 2 Golden Sands Final.

When the kennel’s gun stayer Line Of Quality qualified for the Final seven days prior, it was Thomas’ mother Darrellene who travelled the greyhound up from their Sawyers Gully home.

It is a 16-hour round trip from Albion Park to their kennel – which is based just outside Newcastle – and while those around Darryl are tongue in cheek declaring he will be in Brisbane this week chasing glory, the kennel would not be able to perform the way they do without the team around the trainer.

Darryl is aided by mum Darrellene Thomas and partner Michelle Sultana – who are both trainers in their own right – as they aim to grab Group 2 honours on Thursday night at Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club.

Darryl, who has around 30 in work at Sawyers Gully, concedes the kennel would not be able to tick along the way it does without their help.

“It is good to have my mother, she is a great hand and has been around for a long time and has been a great trainer herself,” he said.

“I will come this week to Brisbane; they keep telling me that I will only come this week for the glory of the Final.

“It makes life a hell of a lot easier for us when you have Michelle and my mum, who can travel dogs around.”

It is a long haul heading back and forth between Brisbane and Newcastle, with a stop at a motel overnight on the way to break up the trip, for the heats and the Final but Thomas thinks his stayer thrives on the routine.

“We believe it is best for him to be in his own bed, he was home the next morning after the heat,” he said.

“He is pretty seasoned for travelling, last week he did not lose one bit of weight, which is amazing.

“It is a pretty good effort.

“Not much seems to worry the dog, he has been to Melbourne as a young dog, we knew he had that motor so we took him everywhere.”

At his first look at Albion Park under race conditions, Line Of Quality stopped the clock at 34.84 seconds in his Golden Sands heat over 600 metres, putting almost four lengths on the quality field.



Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:04 PM

BOX 1 PHOTOGRAPHY Golden Sands (G2) H

Race-6-Line-Of-Quality-DS4-2309-JPG.JPGFrom a Kinloch Brae and All Quality litter, the red brindle dog put in a commendable effort when fifth in the Group 1 Bold Trease (715m) at Sandown late last year before venturing north to the Sunshine State.

Line Of Quality has been around the mark in Group events across his young career – fourth at Group 3 level in June of last year – but the promising stayer is yet to break through at the higher stage.

He has made all four Group Finals he has entered but is really yet to perform at his best when it matters most, due to his slow starts, regularly getting out the back.

“His racing tactics are his biggest problem,” Thomas said.

“I have no doubt he is the fastest dog in the race for this Thursday night, he would blow them away one out, but in a field, it does not matter who is in it, sometimes he does not want to go and it is not happening.”

While Thomas has as many as 30 in work, he has a special affinity with Line Of Quality.

He has no doubt Line Of Quality has the ability to win the Group 2 Golden Sands, but a wide box draw and superstar Jungle Deuce being in the field has Thomas realistic.

“This dog is like my best mate,” he revealed.

“He is the type of dog that you need to be careful of who takes him and handles him.

“I love him to death.

“He is a heartbreaker because he has the biggest motor ever but his racing tactics, he does not perform to expectations every time he goes around.

“Second-up syndrome is a massive issue for him and we will have big concerns with the box draw as well this week.”

Line Of Quality is set to be a big player in The TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival potentially looking towards the Clem Jones or the Gold Cup in the coming weeks, while kennel mate Fernando Hunter, among others, could also look north.

The TAB has star dog Jungle Deuce rated as a $1.65 chance to claim the Golden Sands on Thursday night at Albion Park with Line Of Quality a $10 hopeful.



Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:58 PM

BOX 1 PHOTOGRAPHY Golden Sands (G2) F