Covid Cruels Star Sprinter’s Brisbane Cup Claims

JUNGLE Deuce has been scratched from Thursday night’s Brisbane Cup heats due to the current Covid lockdown plaguing NSW and Queensland.

Adam Dobbin

1 July 2021

JUNGLE Deuce has been scratched from Thursday night’s Group 1 Brisbane Cup heats due to the current Covid lockdown plaguing NSW and Queensland.

Winner of Albion Park’s Group 2 Flying Amy Classic and Origin Match Race at his two most recent appearances, Jungle Deuce was considered a major player for the $250,000-to-the-winner showpiece.

But hopes of landing another Brisbane feature were thwarted late on Wednesday with Forbes trainer Jack Smith electing to abandon his bid to line-up the son of Barcia Bale in the group 1 qualifiers.

“It just got too hard in the end,” Smith said.

“I left Wednesday and got to Coonabarbran before deciding to turn around.

“Because I’d been to Wentworth Park I couldn’t go into Queensland so Steve Kavanagh who lives up near the border was going to take the dog but then he was told he’d need to quarantine as well.

“I just decided at the finish the right thing to do was pull the pin.

“There’s plenty of races for him and he’s only young. The owners have been great about it all.”

Winner at 13 of his 19 starts, Jungle Deuce, a younger half-brother to Tommy Shelby, is a shooting star of Australian greyhound racing.

Smith will now turn his attention to the Group 1 Maturity Classic (525m) at The Meadows which gets underway in three weeks time.

“With Covid all you can say is you hope to go and be there,” Smith said.

“That’s the plan and luckily things seem pretty good down there at the moment but we’ve seen it can all change pretty quickly.”

If not for the current Covid dilemma, Jungle Deuce would be lining up in heats of the Group 1 Vic Peters at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

It’s a race Smith landed with Feral Franky in 2019 following his epic wins in the Flying Amy Classic and Origin Match Race at Albion Park, races also annexed by Jungle Deuce.

“Hopefully he gets a chance to win the race when it’s rescheduled,” Smith said.

“The plan was to go to the Vic Peters with him and that went from being at Wenty to Gosford then not at all.

“Then he was going to Brisbane and he’s not there either.

“So instead he’s now laying in front of the fire. He’s pretty happy about that.”