• Tuesday, 04 Apr, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Douglas eyes Easter repeat

Twenty-one years after winning the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg with Carlisle Jack, Bob Douglas once again finds himself with the favourite for NSW’s most prestigious race.

In 2002, Carlisle Jack claimed a breakthrough G1 triumph in the Easter Egg and veteran Heathcote mentor Douglas is optimistic about an historic repeat with Baby Jaycee at Wentworth Park this Saturday night.

“It’s like going back in a time machine,” 74-year-old Douglas said.

“When I say Baby Jaycee is a miniature version of Carlisle Jack, that’s exactly what she is!

“When I say Baby Jaycee is a miniature version of Carlisle Jack, that’s exactly what she is!”

“She’s so much like him. They’ve got that rare quality; that will to win.”

While Baby Jaycee has compiled an imposing 18 from 33 record, the January ’21 daughter of Bernardo and Leprechaun Storm has endured a nightmare run with draws in her quest for a deserved feature race celebration.

Her horror streak started when she drew box five for the G2 Sandown Laurels, where she ran second.

She then finished runner-up from box eight in the G1 National Futurity, was second again from ‘the pink’ in the G1 Australian Cup Final, while she also drew eight in the G1 Temlee and exited four in the G2 Horsham Cup.

Baby Jaycee also faced a bumpy road into Saturday night’s $300,000 to-the-winner Easter Egg Final, drawing five in her heat placing, before overcoming the six alley in her dominant 29.59sec semi-final performance.

Baby Jaycee ($5) left a star studded line-up in her wake, eliminating Melbourne Cup winner Yachi Bale ($3.70F) and defending Easter Egg champion She’s A Pearl ($3.80) in the process.

“Carlisle Jack drew five, five and four over the three weeks and I didn’t give him a hope the whole way through,” Douglas recalled.

“They haven’t done Baby Jaycee any favours either.

“She was in the hardest heat and then in her semi-final she was up against the Melbourne Cup winner and the two best bitches in NSW!

“I can’t put my finger on why, but she hadn’t put it together at Wentworth Park until Saturday. That’s what I thought she should’ve been running.

“We’ve been a bit disappointed with her runs up there. She was running fifth grade times. Her times didn’t marry up with what she runs at The Meadows and Sandown.

“Five or six lengths had been missing, but she definitely found it on Saturday and she’s in the final up to her neck.”

While Douglas was again resigned to the worst – he didn’t even bother to witness the box draw – Baby Jaycee will have the priceless advantage of box one in the Easter Saturday showpiece.

She boasts a perfect three from three record in the red vest, each of her victories Best Of Night performances at Sandown Park, clocking 29.32sec, 29.34sec and 29.39sec.

Click HERE for Sportsbet’s Golden Easter Egg market

Her perfect draw and the elimination of SA sensation Victa Damian and She’s A Pearl has catapulted Baby Jaycee to $2.70 favouritism with Sportsbet.

“We’ve got the right draw – it’s long overdue too!” said Douglas.

“Hopefully, we can make the most of it. She only has to begin half-decent to hold the fence, and if she leads, they’ll be hard pressed to run her down.

“The parallels with Carlisle Jack are incredible.

“They’d both had three tries at Wentworth Park before the Easter Egg series and they both went up to Sydney after being beaten in the Horsham Cup Final from box four. Then they both drew box five in the Egg heats.”

If Baby Jaycee opens her G1 account at her fourth attempt, Douglas will become only the fifth trainer to win the Easter Egg twice, with the other four multiple winners also Victorians.

Victoria has a second finalist in Elite Alex (box 8), trained by Mark Delbridge, which is also at the pointy end of betting at $5.50 after running a head second in his semi.

Two Victorian stayers qualified for the G1 Association Cup Final (720m) courtesy of heat placings; Jeff Britton’s Korda (box 5) and Riptide Ruslie (box 4), trained by Russell Edwards, which are $16 and $34 respectively.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

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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