By Isaac Murphy
At twenty-two months old Tony Zammit’s Frieda Las Vegas has only lost one race the Group Three Vince Curry Final, outside of that the bitch has shown wisdom beyond her years overcoming her weaknesses with a bevvy of strengths rarely seen in a pup of her age, strengths she will need to draw on in this Saturday’s Ipswich Young Guns heats.
The bitch started her career off winning her heat and semi of the Vince Curry Series before an admirable fourth in the final, since then she’s been flawless going four from four much to the trainer’s surprise.
“You don’t expect any greyhound to come out and win six of there first seven in good company, but I certainly didn’t expect a backmarker like her to go on a run like this so early,” Zammit said.
“She started racing at twenty months in the Vince Curry and apart from the semi-finals where she pinged the lids, she’s had to earn all her wins coming from behind, which you don’t often see in such a young bitch.”
“Her greatest asset is her track sense; she’s been able to weave her way through a field and put herself in winning positions where others would have got caught up.”
Her last four wins at Albion Park are nothing special on the clock but have been spectacular on the eye constantly finding her way out of tough positions hitting the line like a freight train.
“She’s shown in her last few runs the ability to find the rail, go around a dog, go between dogs and hits the line strong each time out, all traits that will hold her in good stead when she gets up in grade,” Zammit said.
“The times especially at Albion Park haven’t been flash but winning four on end is no fluke she’s a bitch going places.”
Watching her replays, it could be argued the bitch is still picking up steam past the post, a jump to the 600 metres and possibly beyond a matter of timing.
“The way she gets to the line is excellent for a bitch her age, she’s always doing her best work late and the logical step looks like she’ll end up a 600 or maybe even seven hundred metre staying later in her career,” Zammit said.
“At twenty-two months and while she’s winning, I’m very content to keep her over the 520 metres, she’s still eligible for a class two fifth grade and class three fifth grade and also gets a chance in the Ipswich Young Guns this Saturday night.”
Zammit said it was by far the bitches biggest test yet with a vast class and experience jump but looking at her heat thought she was a good chance to weave her magic again.
“She’s drawn box four in heat one Saturday night and with a few speedy dogs inside her the likes of Messy Man and Bonus Only, I’m hoping she can use that track sense and drop onto the rail around the first turn and run them down,” he said.
“The class of the race is Velocity Bettina in the pink, she’s a Group performed bitch and is probably the only bitch in the field who will run home quicker than us, but she can get in a bit of trouble off a wide draw, I’m hopeful we can get a top two spot and a finals birth.”
Zammit said he’s been enjoying the ride so far with skill and a touch of luck on her side but knew the picket fence would be coming to an end sometime soon.
“With her racing style I know she’s not going to be able to keep winning at this clip, but races like the Young Guns are a great experience for her against a different class of dog,” he said.
“Depending on how she goes against some more classy operators will let me know what to do with her next, whether to stay around Albion and Ipswich until she’s a bit older or perhaps concentrate on some features coming up.”
“I’ve made it a point to give her runs at both Albion and Ipswich you want them to feel comfortable at multiple tracks and if the opportunity to travel comes up I think she’ll handle it well.”
Frieda Las Vegas is bred out of My Bro Fabio and Droopys Hope an untested combination which has worked out a treat for owner and trainer.
“The owner Darren Leeson lives in Sydney, but he sent the mother Droopys Hope up here to my brother George Zammit who bred the litter with My Bro Fabio and was nice enough to leave Frieda up here for me to train,” he said.
“Darren Leeson bought Droopys Hope as an imported dog, I didn’t know a huge amount about her, but our family have had a good working relationship with Darren (Leeson) for years and he knows his breeding and it’s worked out well so far.”