By Jordan Gerrans
Victorian trainer Mario Briganti has boldly declared Sennachie’s track record around Albion Park might just be in trouble with his emerging dog Big Opal Rocks.
But, the fastest time ever seen around Albion Park for the 520 metre trip will not be happening this Thursday evening in his heat of the Flying Amy Classic for 2022.
Big Opal Rocks has drawn the pink alley in the fourth of five heats on Thursday for a slot in next Thursday’s $150,000 Final.
If Big Opal Rocks does make it through to the Group 2 Final next week, the Devon Meadows-based trainer believes the 29.38 second track record may be in danger of being run down.
The black dog prepared for his first start in Queensland with a scintillating trial recently, putting together sectionals of 5.59 seconds, 11.47 and 12.52 before eventually stopping the clock at 29.58 seconds.
Big Opal Rocks also has litter brother Rapaki Rocks in Thursday’s heats and while Rapaki Rocks is already a Group 1 champion, their trainer thinks Big Opal is the pick of the Rocks’.
“I have no doubt that a dog like Big Opal Rocks would go close to breaking a track record if he was able to draw the red and find the front,” Briganti said.
“He has the capabilities on running close to record times, anything is possible.
“He ran 29.58 seconds after never seeing the joint in his trial, there is more improvement in him, and both dogs, to be honest.
“Big Opal Rocks has a massive motor and is untapped, they are both 23 months old, he can run anything, I don’t want to put a ceiling on it.
“He has the capabilities of doing that, maybe now or in three or four months’ time when he is stronger and mature.
“He is a serious dog that has x-factor, where Rapaki Rocks is just a nice race dog.”
The Victorian conditioner has found a base with trainer Brent Kline’s kennel over the last week since making the trip north.
Briganti estimates he has not raced a dog in the Sunshine State for the best part of 15 years but with two speedy youngsters and with the attractive prize money on offer, he just had to come, he says.
“Being age restricted and they have had a bit of experience now and when you have the calibre of the dogs these two are, you need to take on all these races,” he said.
“It is good prize money and it is one of the harder series I have seen for a while – there is some really good dogs coming up.”
Premier Queensland trainer Tony Brett earlier this week declared the Flying Amy series of 2022 will be the strongest field ever assembled for the Group 2 event in the history of dog racing in Queensland.
Briganti is on the same wave length, blown away with the classy dogs from interstate who have descended at Albion Park.
While being disappointed with both box draws - Rapaki Rocks is in seven in his heat – Briganti says everything else has come together perfectly ahead of Thursday.