By Isaac Murphy
Master Douglas has not quite reached the heights of littermate’s Dynamite Lucy, Blue Diva and Big Boy Bruce, but the slow maturing two-year-old gets the chance to do something his brother and sisters haven’t for Ray and Mary Burman and win the Capalaba Young Guns Final this Sunday.
The racing couples Paw Licking, Bizarre Barbie litter have won multiple races at Albion Park on Thursday night. While Master Douglas only has the one 520 metre win on a Monday at headquarters, his Capalaba strike rate is second to none.
“Master Douglas is probably the best credentialled dog at the track in the race, he’s perfectly boxed out in the eight to hopefully sail down the outside and avoid any trouble,” Mary Burman said.
“Even though he’s a multiple winner at the track I’m certainly wary of the competition and I don’t think he’s going quite as well as he once was given the recent focus on his circle racing.”
Master Douglas finished second in his heat last week to comfortably qualify for the final and while he has the draw and experience in his favour, Burman is expecting a hot contest.
“He’s up against some quality young dogs that haven’t done a whole lot of racing at Capalaba and should have a fair bit of improvement in them, it’s what you expect out of a Young Guns Final,” Burman said.
“You’ve got a dog like Maywyn Cash for Rob Essex, who recently won the Ipswich Young Guns and has only just started racing at Capalaba. Ricochet Radish ran down around 19.60 which is competitive in an open class event.”
The Burman’s have had a close affinity with Capalaba over the years as an invaluable teaching tool for their young dogs, but with the advancement of Sky coverage and prize money in the last twelve months they can begin to target races like the Young Guns.
“Straight racing has helped all of our dogs enormously, even though we have our own straight track at home I’ve always used Capalaba as a tool to educate young dogs how to race in a field,” Mary Burman said.
“The injection of prize money into races like the Young Guns just makes it all the more enticing. You’re coming up against quality fields and getting the chance at a feature race to your name.”
“In the past you would usually use the track for an in between run, which we still do with a lot of our 520 metre dogs, but you’re getting more and more trainers using Capalaba as their first port of call.”
While Mary Burman said the goal was still to make Master Douglas a 520 metre dog, his characteristics may well be suited to the shorter course at Albion Park and the Capalaba straight.
“He’s certainly not wired the same as the other dogs out of the litter, they’re doing their best work late while he’s starting to take the short steps,” she said.
“We’re determined to stick at it for the moment, but we’re in a nice position even if he doesn’t make it over the longer trip.”
In a big week for the kennel, Master Douglas’ litter sisters Blue Diva (3) and Dynamite Lucy (5) line up in the Publicans Cup Final after Heat wins last Thursday night. Mary is slightly leaning in one direction in a quality Fifth Grade.
“If I had to favour one of the two, I think I’d be going with Blue Diva. She beat Dynamite Lucy fair and square by three lengths at Ipswich a couple of weeks ago,” she said.
“Blue Diva’s heat was ultra-impressive. To go sub thirty when she wasn’t on the bunny most of the way I thought it was an enormous effort. If she can jump with them, I like her chances.”
“The main danger of the race is obviously No Easy Beat (29.77 Heat), but there is plenty of speed with Copy Workshop and Blue Diva who can take him on early, it’ll be interesting who’s in front to the winning post the first time.”