Kel Greenough admits exciting youngster Eminent Reality faces a daunting task to emulate the Group 1-winning deeds of his mother Zelemar Fever when he contests Saturday night’s heats of the Sky Racing Australian Cup.
In 2014 Western Australian star Zelemar Fever (pictured above after her Temlee victory, along side Paw Licking) opened the Australian Cup Carnival in a blaze of glory when winning the invitation only Temlee, ironically edging out Kel Greenough’s brilliant speedster Paw Licking.
On Saturday Eminent Reality, a member of Zelemar Fever’s first litter, by Barcia Bale, will venture to the scene of his mother’s career-defining triumph when he concedes age and experience – and plenty of both – to his rivals, which include litter brother Duty Free, in the second of eight star-studded Australian Cup heats.
It will be by far the biggest test of his brief but impressive 11-start career, the highlight of his seven wins the Group 3 Young Stars Classic at Cannington last November.
WATCH: Eminent Reality’s huge win from box three in the Group Three Young Stars Classic at Cannington.
After that feature victory Eminent Reality crossed the continent, coming under the care of master Pearcedale mentor Kel Greenough, for whom he’s won two from four, including a fast 29.76sec effort at The Meadows.
But ever the ‘realist’, Greenough acknowledges Eminent Reality is being thrown in at the deep end, with his lack of early pace a great concern against the best sprinters in the land.
“He’s just a young dog on the way up,” Greenough said.
“He’s got a motor but he’s not two yet and he lacks a bit of early toe. That’s his big drama and it’s very tough coming into an Australian Cup series with a dog that has average early pace.
“You’d take a dog that can run 5.00 early over a dog that will run 5.15 to 5.18 every day of the week. The heats are full of outstanding dogs – it’s the same as the Melbourne Cup heats – that can run 5.00 early and still run 29.60 to 29.70.
“Eminent Reality does wind up with a big run and looking down the track I think he’ll run a bit of ground but I’d say he’s going to need a lot of luck on Saturday night.”
One positive for Eminent Reality is that he’s drawn box one for the first time, although making an already difficult assignment even harder is the fact he hasn’t been seen in action since January 5.
“He’s coming off a setback with a metacarpal problem,” Greenough explained.
“He trialled quick at Ballarat in preparation for the Western Districts Derby but then he pulled up sore and had to be scratched from the heats, so it’s certainly not the ideal scenario.
“He’s never had box one before and he generally comes out and uses a bit of the track. Hopefully he can use the box and punch up early but we won’t know until Saturday night how he’ll handle it because all he’s drawn so far have been middle and outside boxes.”