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Swain stays untouched with All Hands Off

By Isaac Murphy

All Hands Off had Albion Park at her mercy before Queensland borders closed to Fred Swain’s New South Wales kennels in late March.

While the trainer would have loved to have been involved in the Winter features, he made the most of his time at home and All Hands Off returned a winner to Albion Park last week and has a mouth-watering clash with Federal Morgan on the cards this Thursday night.

All Hands Off went up an odds on pop to make it four from four at Albion Park last week and despite drifting in the market, she took care of Valentino Fox, Special Cyndie and Lismore sparring partner I’m Zarr Rock to stay perfect in Queensland, and Swain was delighted with the 29.89 return.

“We were pretty rapt with what she served up, she missed the kick too and was second last to hit the ground and really had to get on her bike to clear them at the first turn - it was a big effort first time back at Albion,” he said.

“I’ve been using one of those new compression suits with her just to keep her relaxed in the car before the race and in the kennels and it seems to be doing the job.

“She used to get very worked up before her races, but through a combination of the measures I’ve taken and a bit of maturity she’s settled down and I think that’ll reflect through to her racing at Albion Park going forward.”

This week is a bit of an unknown for Swain; his star prospect who sees the red for the first time in her career and he’s hoping she takes to it well.

“She hasn’t had box one at all in the past but I think it should be a positive, she always ends up on the fence in her runs, so this gives her the chance to start on the fence for the first time which should only help,” he said.

“It’s a tough race, Valentino Fox was really game behind us last start and Federal Morgan has been going great guns in Queensland.

“I’d love to be able to lead Federal Morgan but that might prove a bit hard the way he’s racing, I’m hoping from box one she’ll be comfortable enough to drop in behind him and hopefully have a chance to get him late.”

Albion Park

GARRARD'S HORSE AND HOUND 520m

While All Hands Off is the pick of the bunch, Swain also owns and trains litter mates Tribal Magic, Gloves Back On and Rattle The Cage, all of whom he’s tried to place the best he can in trying circumstances.

“It’s been pretty tough placing the dogs, we’re probably only getting one or two runs a month with them which hasn’t been ideal so as soon as the borders opened, I was on the road up to Albion Park again,” he said.

“With the four Barcia Bale/Fay’s Magic litter mates I just wanted to keep them healthy through the COVID-19 period, because there were races they were missing out on and I wanted to have them all up and running when things got going again.

“I’ve tried to use the time wisely and All Hands Off especially hasn’t put a foot wrong at Lismore winning in top company, she went five out of six in her time at the track - she’s a professional little bitch that just kept improving.”

Swain knows he’s dealing with a serious race bitch in All Hands Off, the type of greyhound he’s only had once before.

“I haven’t had too many with the talent of All Hands Off, one of similar ability was Tray Bit who won the Ipswich Auction series in 2018,” he said.

“I took him to Albion Park, and he ran 29.80 first look and shortly after broke two bones in his back foot and never reached those same heights when he came back, I’m not taking All Hands Off’s success for granted.”

Despite the bitch’s impressive body of work, Swain knows she has greater things in front of her, and everything she’s doing is pointing to a future Group bitch.

“I’m pretty certain she can go to that next level, she’s won eleven races but nothing big yet, but with the times she’s running I’m hoping it’s a matter of time,” Swain said.

“She’s run just outside the 520 Lismore track record and the sprint trip record at Lismore as well, she’s about a length off both of those records.

“It’s good to see her do it over the sprint trip, it just keeps her fresh for her 500s and you know she can really get out of the box quickly and go if she’s running that time at home.”

All Hands Off
Tribal Magic
Gloves Back On

All Hands Off is the headline act this Thursday, but Swain is also intrigued who will come out on top when Tribal Magic meets her brother Gloves Back On in the final event on the card.

“Gloves Back On likes to run off the track a bit so Tribal Magic should get a fair bit of room off the inside to get up near the lead and run a bold race,” he said.

“I’m in no rush with either of them, the whole litter are still only two and while All Hands Off has always been the one getting all the plaudits, her brother and sister are good young race dogs in their own right.”

Swain is bullish about the lightly raced Rattle the Gate who goes around in Novice company, his record isn’t as flattering but he’s seeing all the right signs.

“I’ve got another brother Rattle The Gate in the Novice tomorrow night who’s probably the second best in the litter - he just hasn’t got a good run at it yet,” he said.

“He’s had a couple of little niggling injuries that have held him back, but I was really pleased with his first run back at Lismore and I think he can run a bit of time if he gets some luck in that grade.

“He won his maiden at Albion Park in 30.40 when he got turned sideways at the first turn, which set him back a bit but his trial times both at Albion and Lismore indicate he’s ready to break out.”

Swain breeds his own litters and has a big soft spot for the pup’s mother Fay’s Magic who has produced for him on and off the racetrack.

“Fay’s Magic has been a great brood bitch for me, she was not only the dam for this litter but just recently had another litter with Raw Ability,” he said.

“It’s the first time we’ve gone to an unproven sire and the feedback I’m getting about the ones that have trialled is they’re looking more than handy.

“She won seventeen races; the distance championship at Lismore, she’s an Albion Park 520-metre winner and ran second to Cyndie’s Magic at the peak of her powers in the Clem Jones - she was a mad chaser and it’s rubbed off on her progeny.

“She’s a rare bitch that’s given me plenty of thrills on the racetrack and at the breeders as well.”