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Waddling Witch will work her Magic in Young Guns

By Isaac Murphy

Wednesday afternoon fifth grades at Albion Park are rarely the coming out party for a potential star, but it was last week’s platform that Jamie Hosking’s Waddling Witch announce herself.

The bitch trounced her rivals in 29.74, leaving the trainer with no doubt she could more than hold her own in this week’s Young Guns heats.

“I thought at her age (20 months) she’d either improve sharply or just taper off a bit in the next few weeks, I thought I’d give her a run and if she needed a break was going to tip her out for a few weeks,” Hosking said.

“I knew she was on when she led as easily as she did, I was just hoping to see 29 something flash up on the board and when I saw 29.74 I couldn’t quite believe it.

“Not knowing quite how she was travelling, I wanted to give her every chance in a winnable race and found a 520 on Wednesday that has ended up giving her plenty of confidence.”

As thrilled as he was with the run, Hosking was rueing the opportunity at missing out on the all bitches Winged Runner Trophy, but at 20 months has time to play the long game.

“You get a bit greedy after that performance and think I should have held her back for the Winged Runner, which she probably would have won in that time,” he said.

“Going forward there will be no holding back, you don’t run 29.74 and not have a crack at the Young Guns heats.

“She’ll be up against the older more experienced dogs, but I think her early speed can offset her age and regardless how she does, we keep her fifth-grade status on Thursday night up our sleeve a little longer.”

Albion Park

TAB - LONG MAY WE PLAY 520m

All four of Waddling Witch’s wins have come at headquarters, somewhere she’s likely to be contesting some big money races if she continues her ascent.

“It’s quite strange the way she’s taken to Albion compared to Ipswich, she hasn’t run bad there but has just been that good at Albion Park,” Hosking said.

“The only thing I can think is when her Vince Curry preparation didn’t go too well, she was sick before the race and probably shouldn’t have run - it’s good to know she loves Albion Park with all the big races anyway.”

The hallmark of Waddling Witch’s victories have been her box manners, but her sectionals show she is rounding into a complete 520 metre bitch.

“She’s very versatile right from the earliest times we got her on the track she was just a mad chaser, where now she’s racing, she doesn’t have to lead to win, her run home yesterday was 12.64,” Hosking said.

“Her box manners are certainly the key ingredient when you add early speed to strength, you’ve got something special and with her wins at Albion Park she’s just continued to get better to the first mark.”

While the hype is exciting, Hosking knows that potential doesn’t pay the bills and is still hoping for natural improvement out of the bitch.

“She’s achieved a hell of a lot her first time in at 20 months, but there’s still little questions of how she’ll handle her first season,” he said.

“If she comes through it well you’ve got to expect her to improve with age, I never thought I’d be wanting more out of a bitch that’s just run 29.74 but she really should get better.”

Waddling Witch is out of Dyna Double One and the relatively unknown Paul’s Memory, and the dam carries a special story.

“Paul’s Memory was owned by a mate of mine Phil Rae but broke her leg in the paddock at six months old and because he was my mate, we decided to hang on to her and breed with her,” he said.

“She was named after one of Phil’s good mates called Paul who’d lost his life, so it’s great to see Phil get a kick out of what she’s produced as well.”

Whether they could run or not, the litter was always going to be special for Hosking and family as the last lot of pups Grandad (Mick Emery) would see born. and the long time greyhound man had a good eye for talent.

“From a family standpoint we’re all just soaking up what she’s doing at the moment, Grandad said when they were breaking in they were the best pups he’d ever seen and she’s proving him a good judge,” Hosking said.

“We wanted a memorable name being Grandad’s last litter and my Grandmother Jenny had just had a knee operation and was waddling around, and I said she can be your dog to name and she came out with Waddling Witch.”

There was an outpouring of support on social media from friends, the Brisbane Greyhound Club and fans after yesterday’s run.

The bitch is building quite a following, something a grateful trainer is trying to adjust to.

“The support and congratulations I was getting yesterday and today about what she’s achieved so far and seeing other people get a kick out of it was something I’d never experienced before, it’s certainly flattering,” Hosking said.

“When you come home to a full kennel waiting to get their turn it sobers you up pretty quickly, but I’m doing my best to enjoy it.”