By Jordan Gerrans
A friendship developed around champion dog Thirty Talks has led Western Australian stayer Chasing Jason to the Sunshine State for a crack at the Group 3 Carnival Chase.
Prepared by Barragup’s Ricky Valenti across the Nullarbor, the 11-time career winner has made the trip over to Queensland to Tony Brett’s kennel for a couple of runs.
The plan for now is for Chasing Jason to contest Thursday’s heats for the Group 3 Carnival Chase over 600 metres before heading towards next week’s Final.
While only two starts are pencilled in now, Valenti says the red fawn dog could well remain in Queensland for further feature racing through the 2022 carnival period if he was to excel.
Veteran dog man Valenti has not ever met Brett in person but they have created a bond over time with Chasing Jason being a son of Group 1 Brisbane Cup winner of 2016, Thirty Talks, who Brett trained during his sparkling career.
“I got to know Tony a bit when we were dealing with Thirty Talks,” Valenti said.
“Thirty Talks did not really hit the stud scene as well as what people thought he was going to but he did not do us any negatives, he threw some nice pups for us.
“Chasing Jason is the quickest from the litter and can run a good solid 600-metre out, where the others in the litter struggle.”
The Valenti family bred Chasing Jason themselves with their own former race dog Ess Bee.
The veteran trainer described Ess Bee as a special greyhound that could have been anything but would only have 33 career starts before entering the next phase of her life.
The Thirty Talks and Ess Bee litter has produced eight individual winners with the 62-year-old Valenti describing Chasing Jason the fastest of the bunch.
On his home track of Mandurah, Chasing Jason is a three-time winner over the 647-metre trip from five attempts.
With not much suitable racing over the longer journeys in Western Australia, the Valenti kennel have long looked at coming to Queensland, considering a tilt at the Rockhampton Cup earlier this year.
The logistics did not work out to get to Central Queensland but they are hopeful of a positive display at Albion Park over the next 10 days.
The dog had a 600-metre look around Albion Park earlier this month and while Brett was pleased with the performance, he believes there is more to come from Chasing Jason as he is a month between runs.
“Tony is confident and says the dog is jumping out of his skin and he is fairly confident he can get out and go,” Valenti, who has been in dogs for 40 years, said.
“I had him fairly fit before I sent him over and Tony says he has him fit, as well."
Brett likes the look of his kennel newcomer.
“He trialled last week and went 35.10 seconds first look," Brett said earlier this month.
Chasing Jason initially drew box seven for the heats last week – which his trainer was more than happy with - but with the races postponed following the rain, he jumps from three on Thursday night, which could prove a little tricky.