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Stayer Jess a ‘Super’ buy

Rob Camilleri sees a lot of similarities between Saturday night’s Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers finalist Run Like Jess and his shock 2019 Sandown Cup winner Rajasthan.

Rajasthan caused one of the greatest surprises in Sandown Cup history when landing Australia’s most prestigious distance race at $34 and Camilleri is hopeful history can repeat with bargain buy Run Like Jess, a $21 chance in Super Stayers betting.

“Run Like Jess is a bit immature and does have a lot of Ragso’s traits!” Camilleri said ahead of the $142,750 final.

Run Like Jess was purchased by Camilleri, his partner Deb Coleman, prolific South Australian owner Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman, who were both also in Rajasthan’s ownership group, late last year and has wasted no time making his mark in the staying ranks.

“We were chasing him for a while and always looked at him as a stayer, even though the furthest he’d run was 600m,” Camilleri explained.

“Rob Palmer (previous trainer) did a great job with him and I think we were just lucky enough to call at the right time and he decided to sell him.

“We’ve had him for 11 starts and he’s been in four Group finals so it’s been pretty exciting.

“He only cost us $25,000 and has already earned about $40,000 so he owes us nothing and it’s a free ride from here on!”

“He only cost us $25,000 and has already earned about $40,000 so he owes us nothing and it’s a free ride from here on!”

Run Like Jess only made his staying debut in the G2 Summer Distance Plate heats in Sydney last month, winning his heat and then running third in the final to another Super Stayers contender in Stanley Road.

After finishing at the tail of the field in the G1 Zoom Top invitational, the son of Fernando Bale and Paua To Avoid led everywhere bar the winning post in his Super Stayers heat when edged out by Stanley Road in 42.42sec.

Run Like Jess will exit box two in the $100,000 to-the-winner final, with Camilleri’s greatest concern being drawn alongside Western Australian Zack Monelli ($3.60), which set new record second and third sections in his stirring heat victory over Houdini Boy.

“We feel like we’ve won already just by being there,” said Camilleri.

“Group 1s are hard to win and if he’s able to run a place we’d be ecstatic.

“Draws don’t matter with Run Like Jess but the problem is that Zack Monelli has drawn box three.

“They went nearly the same to the first mark in the heats so they’re going to come out together and he could cause us some trouble.

“Run Like Jess races better when he can lead but if he gets left alone early and is able to sit on Zack Monelli he did run home seven lengths faster than Zack Monelli in the heats.

“There are better and stronger dogs in the race but I’d prefer to be out highballing than coming from back in the field.

“Saturday will be his fifth ‘700’ so he’s still learning the caper. He’s on the up and if he can continue to improve just that little bit each run, he’ll make a decent stayer.”

Enjoy extensive coverage of Australian Cup night on Sky Racing Active from 6.30pm and 7Mate’s ‘Thrill of the Chase’ from 9pm, both of which will be streamed live into The Watchdog app and

WATCH: Catch-me-if-you-can stayer Run Like Jess (8) gets collared within the shadows of the post by NSW star Stanley Road (6) in a Super Stayers heat. 

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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