A “harsh” Carly Feltham is hopeful rather than confident her homebred star Kysaiah can turn the tables on near-record heat winner Panama Canal in Sunday night’s $17,220 Sale Sprint Championship (440m).
Kysaiah, winner of 15 of his 34 starts and a Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup finalist in April, was beaten for only the second time in six visits to Sale when runner-up to Panama Canal in his heat of the $11,440 to-the-winner Sprint.
Kysaiah ($6.20) showed great acceleration to lead from Box 7 but was overtaken mid-race by $1.20 favourite Panama Canal, which went on to score by just under two lengths in a scorching Best Of Night 24.50sec.
“You’d think Kysaiah is a chance, but to be honest, I don’t know whether he can run the 24.50sec.”
The time was only three lengths outside Aston Bolero’s 24.295sec track record, established in 2016, and improved Jess Hopkins’ recent G2 Healesville Cup finalist’s perfect Sale record to two from two.
Kysaiah’s time in chasing home Panama Canal in the second of two heats was actually the second fastest qualifying performance, with the opening runoff won by Aston Salma, trained by Tanya Sincock, in 24.71sec.
However, candid Devon Meadows owner/trainer/breeder – and Melbourne AFL supporter – Carly Feltham wasn’t overly impressed.
“He was a bit disappointing, in my opinion,” she said.
“Once he was in front, he should have kept going.
“I suppose he did run a PB (24.63sec). My husband, Kane, says I’m a bit harsh!”
WATCH: PANAMA CANAL (B1) came from behind to defeat KYSAIAH (B7) in a near-record 24.50sec in a heat of the Sale Sprint Championship (440m) last Sunday.
Panama Canal’s grip on the final tightened when he drew Box 2, from where he’s unbeaten in four starts, while Kysaiah has to contend with Box 6, having finished unplaced in both previous appearances in the green vest.
“Panama Canal is obviously the one to beat and He’s No Slouch (Box 3) is no slouch either!” Feltham said.
“You’d think Kysaiah is a chance, but to be honest, I don’t know whether he can run the 24.50sec. He had every opportunity to do it last Sunday. I told you I’m harsh!
“Kysaiah won his maiden at Sale – he flew around there (24.70sec). I would have thought with more age and strength he would be running a bit quicker now. But he hadn’t raced at Sale since February, so hopefully he might improve this week.
“He’s got Box 6 and I think he’s better on the outside.
“He doesn’t jump as quick as he looks. He misses it by a split second but then has a massive turn of foot once he hits the ground.”
After having no luck in a Million Dollar Chase city qualifier at Wentworth Park, Kysaiah claimed his first win since April when clocking a Best Of Day 29.48sec at a wet Sandown on September 18, prior to tackling the Sale Sprint series.
While Feltham’s immediate focus is on Sale, she’s dreaming of a much bigger – and richer – Sandown success later in the year.
“We’ll have a crack at the Melbourne Cup – you’ve got to be in it to win it!”