By Isaac Murphy
Northern Rivers trainer Fred Swain’s bitch All Hands Off came to Albion Park as an unknown quantity North of the border in late February.
However, after a fourteen length Novice win and 29.81 Fifth Grade heat romp, the six-start bitch is well and truly on the map in Queensland.
“She’s flying at the moment, we were hopeful of coming up to Albion Park and knocking off a couple of races, but to do it in such dominant fashion was amazing,” Swain said.
“She’s pretty special for a young bitch, she doesn’t really have a chink in her armour, splits of 5.61, 11.59 and 12.61 for a 29.81 run on Monday night are pretty impressive, especially given she’s still very green around the track.
“When she led to the turn on the first occasion from six, she wasn’t sure what she was doing.
She ran off and cost herself a bit of momentum down the back, but it was very encouraging to see she’d learnt a bit in her latest run taking the corner a lot cleaner resulting in a significantly better second split.”
All Hands Off is a homegrown commodity, Swain putting former race now brood bitch Fay’s Magic with Barcia Bale.
“We get a big lift out of what she’s achieved so far, we bred and reared these pups ourselves, so there’s a little bit of extra pressure to perform but you’re proud as punch when they do,” he said.
“We raced the dam Fay’s Magic for seventeen wins, seventeen seconds and thirteen thirds, winning at Albion Park a couple of times and running second in the Clem Jones Cup to Cyndie’s Magic.
“She had the credentials of a brood bitch, but it’s a big relief she’s come through.
“She won over all distances at Casino and Lismore, we were hoping to get some versatile pups out of her, and it looks like we have.”
Like most greyhound trainers, Swain was hesitant to lock in any races for his chaser but had identified some nice targets to continue her maturation process.
“I don’t like to plan things too far ahead because they don’t usually work out exactly as you’d like, but there’s certainly some suitable racing on the horizon for her,” he said.
“First things first hopefully she can knock off the fifth-grade final and then there’s an Easter Trophy race for a bit of money which looks like it’ll suit her and beyond that the Young Guns in May.
“I think she’ll get six hundred but that’s not something we’re entertaining now; she looks like she could be a really nice sprinter as she just turns two on Thursday.”
Swain is based in Ellangowan, sixteen kilometres out of Lismore and has brought plenty of greyhounds to Brisbane over the years, but only brings his best nowadays.
“We only go up to Albion Park with greyhounds we know are going to race there in the future and with her ability she was always going to have to get to know the track,” he said.
“She’s only had a post to post and one trial before her first start up there, the more runs we can get the more comfortable she’ll feel.”
The Barcia Bale/Fay’s Magic litter looks like it’ll only get better for Swain who has taken his time getting All Hands Off’s five brothers and sisters to the track.
“All Hands Off isn’t the only one going well, I had her brother Rattle The Gate come out and win his maiden at Albion last night,” he said.
“He’s been getting knocked around over the sprint trip, so we’re just biding our time with him before we take him to the six hundred.
“There’s another four in the litter that are all racing, not up to the level of All Hands Off, but with good health I think they’ll all make it as 520 metre dogs.”