Leading Queensland trainer Tony Brett produced yet another masterclass with his greyhound Fast Times digging deep to win a stirring renewal of the Group 1 Garrard’s Winter Cup at Albion Park on Thursday night.
The win gave Brett five Winter Cup successes from the last seven editions with Fast Times joining Iso Octane (2011), Glen Gallon (2012, 2013) and Flash Reality (2014) as winners of the rich feature.
A son of Barcia Bale and Group 3 winner Clockwise, Fast Times has long been held in high regard by his trainer and had built a stellar resume which included victory in the Lismore Maiden series last December to go with a Queensland Derby final berth and a runner-up effort in the Richmond Riches series in May.
Brett was full of praise for his chaser in what was a performance that belied a dog which had started only 16 times prior to Thursday night.
“True grit from a good chasing young dog to do that at his 17th start. I couldn’t be happier with him.” Brett said.
“The first thing I saw was that Ando’s Mac also jumped ok from out wide but we had the pace to beat him to the first turn.”
Brett admits Bubble Guppy surging through in the back straight caused a heart-in-mouth moment,
“He gave (Bubble Guppy) every chance because he sat off the track. If Bubble Guppy had have gotten through and held him off a bit he may not have come back.”
“It was two good dogs and it was the longest 29.77 I’ve watched in a race.”
A trip to Ipswich a few weeks ago appears to have worked the oracle with Fast Times’ box manners according to his trainer.
“That’s when he was last beginning, in those early runs (at Ipswich).”
“You just go back to what was working and where it was and you hope the change works and it did.”
Fast Times is owned by former rugby league identity Terry Hill, who was on track to see his charge record his maiden Group 1 victory. Hill spoke glowingly about the relationship he and friend George Kairouz, owner of Split Image, have built with the Brett family over the past 12 months.
“It’s funny actually how things pan out. The only reason that came about was through Lenny (Antonio). He bought Packer (Thirty Talks) off those boys (Hill and George Kairouz) and that gave them a contact up here” Brett said.
“We had them at home for half a day, it was good company and he’s an old Manly boy so he can’t be too bad”
“It’s as though we’ve known them for ages.”
“I couldn’t be happier for those guys, you can see the joy on their faces. For me as a trainer that’s what it’s all about.”
The winner takes his overall record to eleven wins from seventeen starts, having earned just over $136,000 in prizemoney.
Fast Times’ next assignment looks likely to be the Group 1 Maturity Classic series which kicks off at The Meadows in Melbourne on Saturday week, July 15.
“He pulled up pretty good this morning. He didn’t leave anything in the tank. I’ve booked the flights and the crates today.”
“He sneaks into that race by four days age wise, so it’s hard to pass up.”
“It’s a tough three week series, so if he can sneak through without a look at the track we’ll keep going. We’ll just try to keep him fresh and on his toes.”
Brett also gave an update on a few of his injured stars, Thirty Talks, Zabdon Ferrari, My Awesome Magic and Jury in the lead up to the upcoming Nationals series to be held at Albion Park in August.
Zabdon Ferrari tweaked a back muscle at his last run but is on the comeback trail trialling at Rockhampton last week with the Rockhampton Cup the likely next assignment.
Thirty Talks has trialled twice over sprint journeys at Albion Park and remains on track for a tilt at the National series barring any setbacks.
My Awesome Magic has a recurring wrist injury and will remain on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.
Jury, another young dog that has shown plenty of promise, sustained a hip support injury in April and is unlikely to be ready for the Nationals series, but Brett remains confident that the dog will be ready to trial soon.