Emerging talent Aussie Infrared (pictured) is yet to taste defeat in five Victorian appearances, but owner Geoff Collins admits he’ll face the biggest test of his brief career in Sunday afternoon’s Group 2 All 4 Paws & Claws Resort Healesville Cup.
After winning only one of his first nine starts in NSW Aussie Infrared has been a revelation since relocating to Victoria, reeling off five successive victories and handling the step up to elite company with aplomb when winning his Healesville Cup heat last Sunday.
“His breeder Michael Eberand originally sent him down for the Launching Pad earlier in the year but he pulled up a bit rough after trialling at Sandown and missed the series,” said Geoff Collins, who co-trains Aussie Infrafred with partner Ros Hume.
“We decided to leave him down in Victoria for a while and I ended up buying a share in him and his sister Ebby Chance. He’s run some scorching times – he broke the record at Warrnambool in a trial and won at Ballarat in 21.75sec.”
After an impressive foray into coursing, winning the Coursing Derby at Longwood, Collins and Hume decided to target the Healesville Cup and the decision was vindicated with a fast 19.00sec first-up success down the straight.
The son of US sire Bella Infrared then improved his unblemished Victorian record to five from five last Sunday when claiming his Cup heat in 19.25sec, with Jason Thompson’s Invictus Rapid setting the qualifying standard, clocking 19.01sec.
But while Aussie Infrared will take a picket fence form-line into Sunday’s $47,000 to-the-winner decider, Geoff Collins concedes box three is cause for concern.
“He’s a very exciting dog but he does have a few kinks” – Geoff Collins.
“He’s a very exciting dog but he does have a few kinks,” Collins offered.
“He can miss the kick, although he’s getting better, and he does track a bit wide, as he showed in his heat.
“We were hoping for a bit of luck with the box draw but drawing box three again won’t suit him at all. I think he’s got the ability to win the race and if he’d drawn seven or eight I’d have given him a good chance but I’m just a bit worried about him heading off the track and it’s not like you can do anything wrong against these dogs.
“Looking at it realistically he’s got the ability but he hasn’t got the box. But he’s only a young dog – he’s only had 14 starts and is still finding his feet – and hopefully he’s learning to go a bit straighter because if he does he’s in the race.”