By: Jess Tubbs
Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, Lara training duo Jamie and Brooke Ennis are quietly preparing their kennel star Barooga Brett for a crack at his third Group 1 victory at The Meadows in Saturday night’s TAB Topgun.
Saturday morning his routine will vary only slightly from the norm, but it will be enough to let him know its game day. He will be hoping he’s the team’s only runner, preferring to sprawl across the back seat on his way to the track — usually upside down.
“You know something is wrong if he isn’t lying on his back with his legs in the air,” trainer Jamie Ennis said.
Outstanding sprinting performances have already seen kennel favourite “Bretty” claim the Silver Chief, Temlee and Silver Bullet as recently as Monday night at the track, with team Ennis keen to add the twinkle of the Group 1 TAB Topgun trophy to their mantelpiece.
“He pulled up really well from his Silver Bullet win on Monday,” Ennis said.
“We’ve never even had a starter in the Topgun before, so we are both really excited to be a part of it.
“He races well on the track, and we know he’ll do his best.”
Born in June 2016, Barooga Brett is the old timer of the field, having had 72 starts for24 wins and 24 minor placings.
He has a year of experience and 50-plus starts on his youngest rivals Shima Shine and Get It Gizmo.
Barooga Brett may not have youth on his side but he’s a proven Group 1 performer at The Meadows and Ennis believes that from box four he is a good place chance at the very least.
“I don’t think the draw is a bad one,” Ennis said.
“There is no direct speed on his outside and Sennachie (box three) likes to head towards the fence.”
Black Opium for trainer Jason Thompson is Ennis’s pick as the dog to beat.
“If she comes out cleanly, I just don’t think anything can beat her.”
Black Opium is yet to win a Group 1 race, but has finished runner-up in three of the country’s biggest races, the Melbourne Cup, Australian Cup and Brisbane Cup.