After running second to Burn One Down in Sandown Park’s Speed Star series last September, Karen Leek’s consistent stayer Sir Jay Jay will take aim at another distance superstar in Thursday night’s Group 3 Lizrene Speed Star (715m).
All eyes will be on Robert Britton’s powerhouse Rippin’ Sam in the Lizrene match race event and a realistic Karen Leek isn’t expecting to topple the recent Group 1 Galaxy winner on the clock.
However, Devon Meadows-based Leek will be more than happy if the homebred Sir Jay Jay can prevail in his match race against Sharp Diamond and secure the minor end of the overall prizemoney.
“Sir Jay Jay ran the second quickest time behind Burn One Down in the last Speed Star series and it’s a similar situation this time with Rippin’ Sam,” Leek said.
“I don’t think anybody has any intentions of beating Rippin’ Sam; you just hope you don’t draw him in your heat, which luckily we haven’t.
“The Speed Star format definitely suits Sir Jay Jay. He’s a better dog one or two out than in a field. He travels a lot better when he’s on his own. He gets wide but that’s because he doesn’t want to make contact with other dogs. If they run wide and he’s on their outside then he goes wider!
“He’s slow early but really motors at the end. He’s got long, skinny legs and I think it takes him a while to get wound up and get his legs heading in the right direction.
“I don’t know a lot about the dog he’s up against (Sharp Diamond) but I’ve watched a couple of videos and it looks like they have similar styles – a bit slow early and strong at the finish – so it could be quite an interesting race.”
Kick-starting a massive fortnight at Sandown, headlined by three Group 1 events, the Sandown Cup, Sapphire Crown and Harrison-Dawson, Speed Star series will be held over 515m (Bill Collins), 595m (Racecallers) and 715m (Lizrene) with each overall winner pocketing $20,000 and each match race victor $5000.
“It’s a great concept and the betting public seems to like it too,” Leek said.
“The holds were enormous in the last Speed Star series and I couldn’t believe the amount of people that were at Sandown to watch it. People I hadn’t seen for ages.
“Sir Jay Jay is no superstar but he’s won over $60,000 in prizemoney. He’s not quite three and I haven’t put him in any harder races yet but I’ll have to now because he’s out-graded himself. I’ll put him in the Sandown Cup heats next week and if he could make the final it would be great.”