Pink Diamond Princess winner Patriot Earhart ticks all the boxes ahead of her biggest test to date in Saturday night’s FFA sprint at The Meadows, bar one.
Patriot Earhart, trained at Anakie by owner/breeder Brad Keel, is unbeaten in three appearances at The Meadows, the most recent an all-the-way 30.00sec success last Saturday, and she has also a perfect three from three record from Box 6.
However, Keel has one major reservation about her prospects in Race 7 at 8.42pm.
“Equalizer off ‘the red’!” Keel said.
“Equalizer is a Group 1 dog, and I honestly can’t see how she can beat him.
“If he wasn’t in the race, she’d be a good chance. I thought all the good dogs would be at Sandown on Thursday night for the Nationals.
“I’d just like to see her jump the way she has been and if she’s up there you’re always a chance.
“The Pink Diamond final was a good race, but this is probably the hardest race she’s been in so far. I’d be happy enough to run a nice placing, but the main thing is that she gets around safely, and we can reload.”
WATCH: PATRIOT EARHART (B1) improved her perfect record at The Meadows to three from three last Saturday, leading all-the-way to defeat G1 placegetter RED REACTOR (B3) in 30.00sec.
Keel has good reason to be concerned about champion trainer Jason Thompson’s recent G1 Brisbane Cup finalist Equalizer, which is TAB’s $1.70 favourite ahead of $3.90 second elect Patriot Earhart.
Equalizer also heads into Saturday night’s assignment with imposing statistics.
He’s won nine from 17 at The Meadows and five of ten career starts from Box 1.
But Patriot Earhart, a daughter of Over Limit and Larico, has been expertly handled by Keel to date, winning nine of her 21 starts.
“She just tries so hard every week. She’s a great chaser,” he said.
“She has extreme speed once her toes hit the ground. She just needs that bit of room so she can fully explode.
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“For some reason she misses the start a lot, but in her last three races since a short break she’s jumped every time.
“If you look through her form, you’ll see a lot of stop-start with her, where she’ll have two weeks off. She can pull up a bit sore, so she’s not a dog that can go around every five days. I make sure I look after her.”
Keel only has two greyhounds in work, Patriot Earhart, and litter sister Set Me Free, who’s won five of her 18 starts, but is faster than her better-credentialled sibling.
“Set Me Free is quicker than Patriot Earhart; she’s run 29.26sec at Sandown,” said Keel, adding that he’s knocked back significant interstate interest in both sisters.
“I bought their mother Larico as a pup off Wayne Vassallo and Karen Pitt. She’s a litter sister to Gold Vein, which has produced Daryl Holmes’ good dogs.
“Larico was an absolute rocket. She didn’t really want to go in fields, but she would trial the hands off the clock. She was just that quick I had to breed with her.
“Larico only had two litters. Her first litter to Barcia Bale had some very quick dogs, but they had injury problems. It’s unfortunate because I could have had half a dozen high class city dogs.
“Larico is a pet now. She’s running around at Wayne Vassallo’s property with a dog called Throw The Book. They’ve been together for years and are inseparable. They sleep together every night on the couch.”
PATRIOT EARHART (B1) holds off RED REACTOR (B3) to remain unbeaten at The Meadows.