By Isaac Murphy
Dam Slippery won’t be a fifth-grader for much longer but trainer Brett Hazelgrove will continue to take full advantage of it as she shoots for five-straight wins in Thursday’s Christmas Stocking Final.
Dam Slippery’s winning streak continued with a 29.94sec personal best in last week’s heats, the second-fastest qualifying time behind the Terry Jordan-trained Fernando Blaster (29.78).
Hazelgrove said Dam Slippery (Box 5) would need to produce her customary early speed to overcome Fernando Blaster (Box 4) in the $12,660 feature.
“Fernando Blaster is a deserved favourite and we’ll have to do everything right to beat him, if we can across him early and pinch a lead we’ll take some running down,” Hazelgrove said.
“She’s used to it (Box 5), she’s been drawing across the track lately and the way she’s been jumping hopefully we can offset the box with her early speed.
“The other dog has got a bit more ability at the end of the race, but we’ve got the first few sections over him, so it’ll be an interesting battle.”
At bang on two years old, Hazelgrove said he always believed in Dam Slippery’s ability.
“She’s just starting to figure out a few things mentally and got her start right, she’s really coming on well,” he said.
“There are a few age races available for us in the new year namely The Futurity at Wentworth Park, which she is trending towards nicely.”
Dam Slippery came to the Hazelgrove kennel via noted Victorian Breeder Michael Phillips, who has maintained ownership of the bitch and may have his sights on interstate races if she continues to blossom.
“(Michael) bred her in Victoria out of a pretty handy litter out of Dyna Double One and Go Mini Mouse," he said.
“I’m not sure I’ll have her forever if Michael decides to take her back down there later in her career, so I’m making sure I get the most out of her while she’s under my care.”
Hazelgrove has taken a conservative approach with the bitch, knowing she had some maturing to do early on.
With her improved race manners, he expects her to be a top grader before too long.
“We’ve done all her fifth-grade pathway’s the whole way through and she’s won over $25,000,” he said.
“After we go through her age races she’ll come back as a fourth grader here, so I’ll have to have a chat with the owners to see where we take her next.”