By Isaac Murphy
Amber Boody’s Hollow Words lined up on the inside of The Vince Curry Memorial Maiden Series favourite Bago Bluff in Semi-Final Four last Saturday night, with punters and trainers alike expecting the hot pop to fly straight past the $61 shot.
But it was Hollow Words who got the best of the start surprising everyone with an all the way win to qualify for Saturday's rich final.
Boody said she didn’t give her 21-month-old much of a chance when she saw the draw but was rapt to be representing the female trainers in this week’s final.
“We were drawn alongside Bago Bluff for Darren Russell who had gone 30.24 in the Heat a week earlier, so I certainly didn’t expect her to be able to punch up inside him and hold him out,” Boody said.
“I think we’re probably the slowest in the race and I’m the only female trainer, I’m just pleased he’s found a way through the heats and semis to be there.”
Hollow Words will carry his underdog tag through to the Group Three Final, with a sticky draw not helping his case.
“It’ll be a big test drawing away from the inside in the final (5), he’s used those inside alleys in his heat and semi to establish a good position, that’ll be tough to do from the five,” Boody said.
“In saying that no-one including me gave him a chance last week and he managed to drive through and go all the way, but up against the seven best dogs in the series it’s a big ask.”
Boody said regardless of the result in the Final the series had provided a dream starting point for Hollow Words and was rapt to have a young 520m dog with plenty of potential.
“The big question for all our young dogs is if they can run the 520 and while his run home isn’t strong, he’s shown he can get the trip,” she said.
“His middle and closing sectionals are definitely where we will see the improvement in him, he’s only run two races I’m very happy with what I’ve seen.”
While Boody openly admits Hollow Words has had his fair share of luck on his way to the final, the trainer knows from experience you can’t make it this far by a fluke.
“He’s had his share of luck, but you don’t get through a series like this without having some talent too,” she said.
“We won back in 2008 with Red Aces who went on to have an excellent career and have had other dogs make the final since who have also gone on to win plenty of races, hopefully we have another one.”
The constant in Hollow Words' races so far has been his early speed and just as happened in the semi Boody said you never know if he could get to the front.
“He jumps well and doesn’t mind a bit of contact, which is a good trait for a young dog,” she said.
“Whoever wins the start will probably win the race, if he can find himself up there for a third straight week it’s not beyond him.”