Little Byrnes is ready for Ipswich Auction double
By Mike Hill
JOHN Catton believes his talented chaser Little Byrnes has the ability to become the first greyhound to win the Ipswich Auction Series double.
The Greenbank-based trainer made his prediction after the black sprinter impressively won the $21,000 Auction Sprint over 431m in early March.
“He’s a real race dog,” Catton said.
“It was a strong performance and I think he has a Group win in him.
“He’s an above average sprinter and he just keeps on improving.
“He’s one of the better ones I’ve had over the years.”
The trainer said Little Byrnes would now be aimed at this month’s G3R $58,000 Ipswich Auction Series over 520m.
The rich series begins with heats on Saturday, April 3, followed by semi-finals on April 10 with the $40,000-to-the-winner final on Saturday, April 17.
“That’s definitely our next big target,” said Catton.
“He’s just turned two and he’s improving all the time.
“We will be aiming him at some of the age restricted races in coming months.”
Little Byrnes (Barcia Bale-Mitchie Madam) – a hot $1.50 favourite in the Sprint final – didn’t let his backers down with a powerful three-length victory over the Craig Schmidt-prepared Borneo Bandit ($3.20).
Kev Murnane’s Lost In Lantana ($41) was another three-and-a-half lengths away third.
The winner clocked a slick 24.81s for the trip.
“I liked the way he pressured Borneo Bandit for the lead before opening up on the corner,” Catton said.
“It was a super strong run home.”
Catton reaffirmed his Auction Series double hopes despite Little Byrnes failing to qualify for the Ipswich Young Guns series final (520m) mid-month.
A week after his Sprint success the black dog – a $2.20 favourite – failed to run a place in his YG heat.
“But there were excuses,” said Catton.
“He missed the start fractionally and got checked several times early.
“He just couldn’t get a crack at them.”
Catton said full credit goes to Peter Sullivan and heat winner Pokie Payout.
“It was a fast time (30.16s),” he said.
The setback hasn’t changed Catton’s plans going forward.
He said the dog had pulled up fine and it was now on to this month’s big Auction Series.