By Isaac Murphy
The Brisbane Greyhound Winter Carnival is fast approaching and it’s no coincidence the Tony Brett kennel is starting to hit full gear.
The 2018 Australian Greyhound Trainer of the Year is a constant threat winning the Group One Winter Cup with Fast Times and Jury over the past two years and although his sprinting stocks are again strong it’s a soon-to-be stayer that has Brett excited.
“I always love the Winter Carnival because all the good dogs have to come here rather than us doing the travelling, so I always make sure I’ve got a strong team,” Brett said.
The trainer received a call from owner Tony Glover in October last year asking if he’d be interested in training Hara’s Dazza, Brett had seen the dog’s potential and jumped at the chance and is now planning a winter assault with the two-and-a-half-year-old.
“He showed us what he’s capable off over an unsuitable distance (520) last Thursday night,” Brett said.
“He was last at the winning post first time round and ended up winning going away in the fastest time of the night (30.13).”
While the dog has a pair of 600 metre wins late last year a hock injury caused an enforced layoff and Brett has used the 520 metres as a starting point to build the dog back up.
“To have him winning these 520 races at the moment it’s really a bonus because they’re in essence fitness runs to harden him up for the longer trips,” Brett said.
“He ran a 5.79 first sectional last week which in all honesty is terrible, so it’s giving him an education on how to stay out of trouble in a field.”
Second up from his spell Brett said the dog didn’t bounce back as quickly as he would have liked and would go on a race to race basis on when he goes up in distance.
“He pulled up a little bit jaded after last weeks run, normally you’re looking for them to bounce back straight away where he took a couple of days and if that’s the case again this week I may give him another go at 520 before we start thinking 600,” he said.
“I want him in ten weeks time hitting his straps for the Gold Cup, I don’t want to burn him out now, the long term is to get him to those big races and picking the right path will be key.”
Hara’s Dazza jumps from the three in the Mixed 4/5 Grade over the 520 tomorrow night and while Brett would ideally see a performance like last week winning is not the be all and end all.
“He’s a chance again tomorrow night there’s not much speed inside him Tommy’s (Tzouvelis) dogs out of the one and two are not noted beginners along with Cyn’s Magic, Too Good Joog is probably the only genuine early speed in the race,” he said.
“It’s always a possibility he gets checked out the back, but as long as he’s not injured that’s ok, if he’s still hitting the line hard I’ll be happy.”
Brett’s quest for a third consecutive Winter Cup received a huge boost when the lightly raced Charming Chaos returned from injury in stunning fashion on Monday, smashing the clock in 30.07 winning the Sue Burley Memorial.
“Over the moon with his run, to get any dog back from a hock injury is tough and to see him do that after missing six months of racing exceeded expectations,” Brett said.
“He’s pulled up well and if we can keep him together he’ll figure in the big sprint races over the Winter.”
Bad Benny announced himself as a serious contender for approaching age races at Albion Park, running 30.21 in winning the John Young Memorial at Ipswich on Tuesday.
“Him and Painted Picture will go into the Young Guns the following Thursday and then on to the Queensland Derby, if they handle it well I’ll give them a go in open grade,” Brett said.