After Big Energy exploded into Sandown Park’s exclusive ‘sub-29’ club when clocking a scintillating 28.93sec on April 6, the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson at the same venue seemed a logical next step.
But ever the realist, champion trainer Kel Greenough chose to bypass the Harrison-Dawson heats and will instead head to The Meadows on Saturday night, where Big Energy makes his debut at the track in race 4 at 7.27pm.
Big Energy (box 3) dominates Sportsbet’s market at $1.70, however Greenough isn’t yet completely sold on the boom WA import, despite his obvious talent.
“His owners asked me about the Harrison-Dawson, but I don’t think he’s mentally ready to go up against the big boys yet,” Greenough said.
“He still needs to pass a few more tests.
“Bottom line, he’s a very quick dog. He’s every bit as quick as Wow She’s Fast.
“But it’s all right running fast time off box one, which he’s had at his last two starts, so Saturday night will be a bit of a test for him out of a difficult box.”
Big Energy won three of his first seven starts before relocating to Victoria, with Kel and Jackie Greenough taking the reins at the request of leading WA mentor Steve Withers.
The December ’20 son of Aussie Infrared announced his arrival with a scintillating 29.00sec Sandown trial, before disappointing at his eastern states debut, when seventh in a G3 Launching Pad heat.
WATCH: BIG ENERGY (B1) set Sandown Park alight when clocking 28.93sec in the Launching Pad Runway Final on April 6, the sixth quickest time recorded at the track.
He then opened his Victorian account when winning a heat of the Launching Pad Runway series in 29.39sec, before setting tongues wagging with his near-record victory in the final.
It was the sixth fastest time ever recorded at Sandown.
Only track record holder Aston Rupee (28.79sec and 28.89sec), champion kennelmate Wow She’s Fast (28.83sec and 28.93sec) and 2020 Melbourne Cup hero Hard Style Rico (28.91sec) have gone quicker.
“I told Steve (Withers) I wasn’t looking for any more dogs, but we’ve got a good relationship, so I said to send Big Energy across, and I’d try to work out why he wasn’t performing to expectations,” Greenough explained.
“I thought I’d figured it out, so I gave him a couple of trials to make sure and he went from going good, to going fast, to running ridiculous times.
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“He ran 29.00sec in a trial at Sandown, but then first-up he missed the start and did everything wrong. The next week he drew ‘the red’ and missed the start again, and while he won, he wasn’t that impressive.
“The following week, he drew ‘the red’ again and this time he got the start right and broke 29.
“He has trialled quick at The Meadows. He went 17.56sec – you don’t see dogs running that on trial day.
“The dog can run but he’s still a query in my eyes, so I’m not going to put a big wrap on him. He’ll tell his own story. It’s up to the dog how far he goes.”