Trainer sees a tough run with dogs
HE MAY be conquering all before him but Charlie Northfield has cautioned punters hoping to get on Take the Weight at the latest Lismore meeting.
The two-year-old starts from box five in tonight's $1645 420m Northern Rivers Vet Stakes as the one to beat, having racked up five consecutive victories.
It has been a notable few weeks for the Northfields' charge, who claimed his latest win over 484m at Casino's grass track on Friday and is in superb physical condition.
So why the hesitation, Charlie? "He is a dead-set grass dog," the trainer said. "His record at Lismore is not great.
"Looking at his form, they'll probably put him at a silly price, but I would not back him under $3.
"We've had some luck with the box draws recently. He needs to be drawn inside - anything 4-8 doesn't suit him as well.
"He is in great nick physically and is going well, but it could be tough."
The dog has chalked up seven wins from his past nine outings stretching back to November.
He has had one career outing at Wentworth Park but most of his wins have come in northern New South Wales.
"If you take him to the sand tracks in Brisbane and Sydney, there's always that chance he could get hurt," Northfield said.
"If we are getting the races around here, why not keep him here?"
Although blessed with decent pace on the track, Northfield said his charge was a more sedate campaigner away from racing.
"He is such a laid-back dog," Northfield said.
"At Wauchope the other day, one of the stewards joked to me, 'I think your dog might be dead.'
"He was just lying flat on his back, watching everyone come back in."
Stratheden-based Northfield is one of the region's canniest operators, assisted by wife Toni.
The 45-year-old has been involved with greyhounds for several years and hasn't lost his love for the sport.
"It's still a great thrill," he said.
"I think it's the animals themselves. I just love working with them.
"I still get that buzz from a good win as well.
"Things have been going brilliantly recently. I hope it can continue."
Ten races are on the card and action starts at 6.45pm.
TURNER'S TIPS FOR LISMORE
Glorified Gee (box six, race three): Slowly building into a consistent performer.
Easy Drinking (box three, race five): Very even field but this experienced campaigner may just be working back into winning form again.
Sheza Sonnet (box seven, race six): Patchy record over the 520m distance but won last time out and in decent form.