National Sprint Looms For In The Hub

THE depths of winter isn’t usually conducive to fast times, but enigmatic Victorian sprinter In The Hub is certainly bucking that trend.

THE depths of winter isn't usually conducive to fast times, but enigmatic Victorian sprinter In The Hub is bucking that trend on an almost weekly basis as he beats a path towards the National Sprint Championship.

Trained and bred by David and Shona Crawford at Pearcedale, In The Hub has won six of his last eight starts in blistering time, most recently clocking a Best Of Night 29.18 at Sandown last Thursday.

Also included in the December '21 son of Fernando Bale and Accused's hot streak are three other BON efforts at Sandown – posting 29.15, 29.17 and 29.21 – while he scorched around The Meadows in 29.58.

FIELDS AND FORM SANDOWN PARK THURSDAY NIGHT

"He is a fast dog," David Crawford said.

"I wouldn't say he's going any better now, but he's certainly got more consistent.

"If you look at his times, five or six of his wins at Sandown have been within a length or a length and a half of each other.

"He gone between 29.10 and 29.18 five times.

In The Hub will be out to continue his sensational form at Sandown on Thursday Pictures: Jason Mckeown

"If he was running on a warm night and a fast track at the moment, because he's been so consistent with his times, you'd have to think he would break the ‘29' and not many dogs do that.

"He is a funny dog, because when they run him into him he's a different dog. He needs a clear run, but he has definitely toughened up a bit."

Boasting a 50 per cent career (16 from 32) and Sandown (7 from 14) strike rate, In The Hub will be back in action at his favourite track on Thursday night, exiting box one in the FFA sprint (race 8).

"He has drawn a few box ones – I cop a bit of a ribbing off my mates about it – but to be honest, I actually prefer him out of seven or eight where there's nothing coming down on top of him," Crawford said.

There has never been any doubt about In The Hub's ability – he ran 29.13 at Sandown at just his sixth race start and prior to that briefly held Sale's 435m record – however, to date, his one and only feature race appearance came in the G3 Easter Gift at Sandown.

Victoria's form sprinter narrowly missed the cut-off date for Saturday night's G1 Maturity Classic heats, with the Crawfords eyeing off the National Sprint Championship heats at Sandown early next month.

"He only missed the Maturity by a week and he goes well at The Meadows too," Crawford said.

"I'm going to put him in the Nationals, of course.

"It's pretty hard for me to get away, so he hasn't really been anywhere else. 

"I had a bit of a think about sending him up to Tony Brett in Queensland, but while he's two and a half, he's not really a mature dog.

"It would be nice to knock off one of those big races. I haven't been able to win a big one yet, and he's definitely got the ability to win a good race if he gets a clear run."

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