The big guns are set to clash in Qld’s Country Cup
By Mike hill
TOP Rockhampton trainer Dallas Beckett believes he has the right sprinters to have his first serious crack at the rich Queensland Country Cup series.
Beckett’s confidence was high after his two talented chasers Craig’s Regret and Remember Col dominated last month’s $5250 Rockhampton Young Guns over 407m.
Craig’s Regret, a $7.50 chance, managed to hold out his more fancied kennelmate Remember Col ($2.30 fav) by three-quarters of a length with Bill Boon’s Velocity Atom ($4.60) four-and-a-half lengths away third.
“They are two very good young dogs that are still learning their craft,” said Beckett, who admitted he has a huge opinion of both sprinters.
“I feel certain they could go down to Brisbane tomorrow and win.”
And the well-respected trainer should know.
Over the years he’s had some brilliant chasers and won many awards and trophies, particularly with the late Drayton-based trainer Col Byers.
The Beckett-Byers combination won four Ipswich Greyhound of the Year awards with the speedy sprinters Serious Speed (2007), Charmed Speed (2012), Harry Bailey (2016) and Little Ach Cee (2017).
Beckett said Remember Col (Magic Sprite-Elle Bale), named in honour of Byers, was ‘a flying machine’.
“As good as Harry Bailey and Little Ach Cee were, Remember Col is a four lengths better dog,” he said.
“He’s the ultimate professional … the real deal.
“He doesn’t waist an ounce of energy. As soon as he’s in his kennel he’s down resting, the same when he’s travelling.
“But as soon as it’s race time, his ears prick up and he’s ready to race.”
Beckett has already refused several offers for the black sprinter, whose race record stands at 21 wins and 14 placings from 47 starts with prizemoney totalling $30,965.
“I’ve never had a real crack at the Country Cup, but I’ve never had a dog like Remember Col,” he said.
“I think he would love Albion Park. But first we have to qualify.”
A series of regional finals will be staged this month to qualify runners for the $12,600 Brisbane feature on February 4.
Bundaberg will stage the Wide Bay Country Cup (heats January 11, final January 18); Townsville will conduct the NQ Country Cup (heats January 12, final January 19) and Rockhampton will host the CQ Country Cup (heats January 13, final January 20).
The final field will comprise the first two placegetters from each regional final plus the two highest graded thirds.
The Cup has been run three times and no Rockhampton-trained dog has won so far. The Glen Olsen-trained Innocent Man, representing Townsville, won the inaugural Cup in 2018, Dalmatynski (Townsville) won for Joan Newnham in 2019 and the Ricky Hassall-prepared Elegant Eleanor won in 2020 representing Bundaberg.
Beckett would like to change that.
“I think I have the dogs to have a serious crack at this year’s Cup series,” the trainer said, but he knows he’ll have strong competition from the powerful Darren Taylor and Bill Boon kennels.
While commenting on Young Guns winner Craig ‘s Regret – a ‘lucky’ giveaway – Beckett admitted the SH Avatar-Sweet Shine black chaser was a different dog altogether to Remember Col.
“He’s hyperactive and always on his toes,” he said.
“He’s a hard dog to control, particularly at the track. He wants to jump up all the time.
“But he’s getting better as he matures and he’s got a big future.”
Beckett also has a lot of time for Qualified, another SH Avatar youngster that’s only been racing for several months but is already building an impressive record.
With just 10 starts, the black sprinter from the Barcia Bale bitch Zambora Krystal has six wins and three placings and Beckett is confident the dog will eventually run a strong 500m.
“He’s getting better and better,” he said.
“He’s a pocket rocket.”
“I have to make a decision in coming weeks about sending three or four of my FFA class sprinters to the Brisbane region.
Beckett has five pups from Elle Bale’s second and final litter to Blazin’ Bomber about to enter his kennels before heading south in mid-February to be broken in by John Collins at Postman’s Ridge.