Lara trainer Robert Camilleri is feeling buoyant about his ‘unsung hero’ Slingshot Hammer (Box 5) ‘nailing’ a heat of the Group 2 Ballarat Cup (450m) on Saturday night.
A nine-time group race finalist (including three G1s), Slingshot Hammer is having his first start at Ballarat, but Camilleri said tongue-in-cheek “he could go around the track blindfolded”.
“He’s had multiple trials at Ballarat, and has clocked 25.03sec,” Camilleri said.
“He’s feeling great, the dog is thriving… He went very fast recently at Shepparton defeating Seal The Deal, and would have broken 25 seconds only for early interference.”
Camilleri is respectful of the class of G1 Melbourne Cup runner-up Western Envoy (Box 1) and G2 Bendigo Cup winner Crimson Vixen (Box 8), but said “if they do something wrong they’ll know he’s there”.
“It would be nice to get a clear run in the first 20-30 metres, and they’ll be struggling to catch him if he leads.”
And Camilleri’s message for the punting fraternity: “He’s certainly worth a ‘nibble’ at $4.80.”
Slingshot Hammer has notched 30 wins from 72 starts. He won last year’s G3 Cranbourne Classic and was recently fifth to Hooked On Scotch in the G2 Geelong Cup.
WATCH: Slingshot Hammer (3) defeats the classy Seal The Deal (7) in slick time at Shepparton last month.