Former NSW trainer Adele Powell will be chasing her biggest success since relocating to Victoria when promising sprinter Smart As Jack tackles the heats of the Group 3 Northern Districts Cup (450m) at Shepparton on Monday night.
Powell was involved with Group-winning stayers Just Friends and Outrageous Angel when based in NSW and she rates Smart As Jack, which boasts 11 wins from his 19 starts, as good as anything she’s trained since venturing south four years ago.
“He’s a great little dog,” said Powell, who trains a small team at Stanhope.
“I actually had him ready to go to The Meadows – he ran the best of the day in a post-to-post trial there – but then the Northern Districts Cup came up and it’s an ideal race for him, so the city will have to wait a bit longer!
“He’s well and truly on his game at the moment and I expect him to do well on Monday.”
Smart As Jack is ideally suited by the conditions of the Northern Districts Cup, which is restricted to Victorian-bred greyhounds with no city wins, less than $25,000 prizemoney and at least two starts at Shepparton.
The majority of Smart As Jack’s wins have come at Healesville, where he’s won seven from ten up the straight, while he’s also undefeated in three appearances over Shepparton’s 450m course.
His most recent start at his home track, on July 30, resulted in a fast 25.06s victory over Group 2 Launceston Cup winner Caishen and as was the case on that occasion he will exit box three in the third of four Cup heats.
Powell also has a second string to her Northern Districts Cup bow in You Fugitive, which has also drawn box three in the final heat.
“I give Smart As Jack a really good chance,” Powell said.
“He loves Shepparton, he’s won out of box three there in good time and he’s ran 25.13s there this week on trial day.
“He’s raced regularly at Healesville and goes well there. He’s owned by the Ryan family and Michael Ryan is the manager of the Ryino Syndicate. Michael’s brother Jack is the Track Manager at Healesville and the whole family is involved there.
“Smart As Jack only ran 19.46s when he won at Healesville last Sunday but when they came up to him he put two lengths in them straight away.
“I’ve also got You Fugitive in the heats. He’s not far behind Smart As Jack in ability – he’s run 21.63s over 385m at Shepparton – but he’s had problems with a toe.”
Smart As Jack is a son of 2016 Golden Easter Egg hero Moreira and Rose Magic, with Adele also having two pups from Rose Magic’s second litter, to Zipping Garth, to look forward to.
Victory in the Northern Districts Cup would continue an unforgettable second half of 2020 for Powell after she won the most prestigious event on the coursing calendar, the time-honoured Waterloo Cup, with Making Gravy in August.