A greyhound’s confidence plays a major role in their ability to perform consistently at the top level and that has been the reason behind Awesome Project’s outstanding form of late according to his trainer Darren McDonald.
Awesome Project (pictured), a winner of nine of his past 11 starts, qualified for the final of the Group 1 Garrad’s Winter Carnival Cup (520m) at Brisbane’s Albion Park last night in the quick time of 29.82s.
It was another outstanding performance from the greyhound that has won the Ultra Sense final at Wentworth Park on Golden Easter Egg night and also the $100,000 first-prize in the Group 2 Harrison-Dawson at Sandown Park in the last couple of months.
McDonald, who’s kennel is experiencing a rich vein of form, says that confidence has been the key with his three-year-old chaser.
“His confidence is sky-high at the moment and that’s leading him to begin well in his races,” he said “that’s been his best attribute of late, he is leaving the boxes well and putting himself into the race.”
The trainer, based in Devon Meadows, also commented that drawing box one is a big advantage but that a local star is drawn even better.
“Box one in any group race is good but I think Flash Reality is also drawn perfectly.”
“It’s his (Flash Reality’s) home track, he’s got his box and he was the fastest heat winner so I think he will be the favourite for the race and the biggest danger to Awesome Project.”
Flash Reality is trained by local icon Tony Brett and has won seven of his past eight races at Brisbane’s greyhound racing headquarters. His heat time of 29.71s was the fastest of the night but not his fastest effort around the circuit having clocked the super-quick time of 29.58s in May.
Flash Reality, a noted wide-runner, is drawn perfectly in box eight for next week’s final as is Awesome Project in box one. The bookends of the field will be the two favourites for the race.
Brett is no stranger to winning the Winter Cup, with his diminutive champion Glen Gallon winning the past two editions of the race on his way to $618,000 in prize money throughout his career.
The final of the Winter Carnival Cup will be held next Thursday night at Albion Park and is worth $75,000 to-the-winner.
Box Draw for the Winter Carnival Cup
1 – Awesome Project – Darren McDonald
2 – Gumlow Star – Sandra Hunt
3 – Love Kills – Brian Partridge
4 – Buckle Up Wes – Ted Medhurst
5 – Benarkin – Tony Brett
6 – Winged Elite – John Hutchinson
7 – Yogi Blue – Peter O’Reilly
8 – Flash Reality – Tony Brett
9 – Cyndie’s Special – William Elson
10 – Rue De Khan – Dean Swain
Channel Nine feature on Glen Gallon