By Isaac Murphy
With the Garrard’s Winter Sprint Heats just a week away, the states best middle-distance dogs are assembling and there is no-one in better form than Gary Mitchell’s bitch Swift Dancer.
The 600-metre specialist is looking to remain unbeaten this preparation over the distance, and Mitchell thinks you haven’t seen the best of her yet.
Last week’s one act affair saw the usually moderate beginner fly the lids and lead from box one, and with the same draw and similar field this week, Mitchell is looking for a repeat.
“She’s just a different bitch out of box one, she’s only ever had it once before in her career and now has drawn in two weeks running - I’d love to keep her there every week,” he said.
“She’s known as a slow beginner in a field and she generally is, but from an inside draw and especially the red I think she sees that rail.
“With nothing inside her, she accelerates without dogs around her.
“I’m confident she’ll come out again this week and show she can lead, she’s just like most other greyhounds, you need the right box.”
At two-and-a-half, Swift Dancer recorded win number ten last week, and so taken was the trainer with her form and potential, he made her his own.
“Right now is the best I’ve ever had her, and I think she’s only going to hit peak fitness this week,” Mitchell said.
“It’s her seventh run back from a bit of a layoff and she could really run some time.
“I actually bought her off her original owner after her last start win, she’d shown me she could win from the back and win from the front - I’m rapt to now own and train her.
“I’ve always known she’s a great little bitch, but this is probably the first time in her career where everything is spot on, I think she’s in for a big preparation.”