A realistic Brett Bravo isn’t expecting regally bred youngster Paddy Wants Pats to emulate the feature-race winning exploits of his superstar mother Striker Light in Wednesday’s G3 Speed Star series (525m) at The Meadows.
Paddy Wants Pats is certainly bred to be a ‘Speed Star’, being a son of 2013 Melbourne Cup hero Black Magic Opal and triple G1 winner Striker Light.
Bravo and wife Kelly guided Striker Light to victory in the 2017 Golden Easter Egg, 2017 National Futurity and 2018 Temlee, while she also won the G2 Warrnambool Cup in 2018, banking $702,560 in prize money.
Following in his champion mother’s paw-prints was always going to be a huge ask for Paddy Wants Pats, which only turned two on Monday, but he’s demonstrated more than his share of talent in winning four of his 13 starts.
The blueblood has been especially effective at The Meadows, where all four of his career victories have come over the 525m course, with his PB of 29.83sec last Wednesday catapulting him into Speed Star contention.
“I wasn’t even thinking about it (Speed Star), to be honest, and then after his win last week our daughter Bronte said ‘Dad, he’s qualified for the Speed Star’, so Kelly and I decided we might as well have a crack at it,” said Bravo, who only has two race dogs in work.
“He can run but he has let me down a bit and I’m just hoping that with some maturity he can turn into a rock-solid race dog.
“I broke him in and ever since his first trial his run-home times have been unbelievable.
“I think he’ll get ground. He’s only just turned two and he’s already had a 600m, so we’ll probably step him up soon.”
To best facilitate competitive match races, the eight finalists in each of the three distances – 525m, 600m and 725m – were divided into two groups for the box draws ,with Pool A being qualifiers 1-4 and Pool B qualifiers 5-8.
The matches were then drawn from within the respective pools, with the winner of each duel to receive $5000 and the overall fastest time to claim the $20,000 victor’s purse.
Paddy Wants Pats (Box 2) will face Robert Camilleri’s Chop Scotch (Box 1) in the opening 525m clash.
TAB has Paddy Wants Pats at $1.95, shaded by Chop Scotch at $1.85, while Paddy Wants Pats is a $41 outsider in the ‘All In’ market, which is headed by $2 favourite Aston Rupee, winner of the G3 Bill Collins Speed Star (515m) at Sandown in June.
WATCH: Paddy Wants Pats storms into G3 Speed Star (525m) contention when clocking a fast 29.83sec (Best) at The Meadows last Wednesday.
While Bravo concedes Paddy Wants Pats isn’t likely to upstage Aston Rupee for time honours, he is expecting a very competitive showing in his match race.
“You’d hope so,” Bravo said.
“I think the format will suit him; he’s one of those dogs that wants things on his own terms a bit.
“His match race is the aim. We’re certainly under no illusions about him being the fastest dog in the series and we put him in hoping he’d draw an ‘easier’ match and have a chance at picking up $5000.
“Paddy Wants Pats and Chop Scotch both won at The Meadows last Wednesday and ran similar time, so it looks like they’re pretty evenly matched.
“Hopefully two-out he can go a bit quicker than he has.
“He does rail but he’d rather come down on other dogs than have them coming down on him so I think he’s drawn okay on the outside where he’s going to be putting the pressure on.
“It’s going to be pretty hard for anything to beat Glenn Rounds’ dog (Aston Rupee). He’d be as quick as any dog in the country at the moment and you’d have to run 29.50sec or 29.60sec to be competitive with him.”
Meanwhile, after sensationally breaking Dyna Double One’s long-standing 595m record at Sandown earlier in the month, Jason Thompson’s Collinda Patty is $2 favourite for the 600m event.
Collinda Patty will contest one of the most-intriguing match races of the meeting, against Kel Greenough’s Zac’s Entity, which has only been to the races twice, clocking a flying 29.25sec over 515m at Sandown on debut.
In the 725m series, Jeff Britton’s up-and-coming stayer Mepunga Ruby is $2.20 ‘All In’ favourite ahead of kennelmate Hank The Hustler, last start winner of the Victorian National Distance Championship at The Meadows, at $3.30.
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