IT is all about the start for Tifi For Me in the NSW heats of the AGRA National Distance Championship (720m) at Wentworth Park on Saturday.
That’s what Nowra trainer Chris O’Brien reckons as his stayer prepares to go from box six in the heat, which is the first step to a place at the forthcoming $75,000-to-the-winner Group 1 Nationals.
O’Brien’s charge has recorded a decent 42.58 run over the distance but has a patchy record, having chalked up eight wins from 35 starts.
Despite that inconsistent form, her trainer said a good run isn’t out of the question.
“She has a lot of ability but she is no good coming from the back,” O'Brien said.
“She requires an inside box [as] most of her wins have been from boxes 1-4.
“It’s not the best draw [but] if she can jump well and lead, she has a chance.
“If they are slow on the inside of her then they’d better watch out.”
The heat is the toughest of the two Distance heats to pick, with all eight greyhounds having realistic chances of a berth in next week’s state final.
O’Brien has been training dogs for about 12 years, combining his duties with running a truck and bobcat business.
“I love the animals and the challenge of getting them up for a race. I don’t go crazy if they win but I do get emotional – inside, anyway,” he said.
“You put a lot of work into it so it’s great when it pays off.”
Another Nowra trainer, Steve White, will have high hopes for his irrepressible charge Tommy Brislane in the second of the Sprint heats.
With nine wins from 11 races, Tommy Brislane is one of the country’s most exciting greyhounds.
The winners of the state final will join the best performers from across Australia in the AGRA National Distance and Sprint Championships at WA’s Cannington track on Saturday, August 23.
Ten races are on the card at Wentworth Park, with action starting at 7.27pm.