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Middle distance strikes the right chord for Swift Dancer

By Isaac Murphy

With the Garrard’s Winter Sprint Heats just a week away, the states best middle-distance dogs are assembling and there is no-one in better form than Gary Mitchell’s bitch Swift Dancer.

The 600-metre specialist is looking to remain unbeaten this preparation over the distance, and Mitchell thinks you haven’t seen the best of her yet.

Last week’s one act affair saw the usually moderate beginner fly the lids and lead from box one, and with the same draw and similar field this week, Mitchell is looking for a repeat.

“She’s just a different bitch out of box one, she’s only ever had it once before in her career and now has drawn in two weeks running - I’d love to keep her there every week,” he said.

“She’s known as a slow beginner in a field and she generally is, but from an inside draw and especially the red I think she sees that rail.

“With nothing inside her, she accelerates without dogs around her.

“I’m confident she’ll come out again this week and show she can lead, she’s just like most other greyhounds, you need the right box.”

At two-and-a-half, Swift Dancer recorded win number ten last week, and so taken was the trainer with her form and potential, he made her his own.

“Right now is the best I’ve ever had her, and I think she’s only going to hit peak fitness this week,” Mitchell said.

“It’s her seventh run back from a bit of a layoff and she could really run some time.

“I actually bought her off her original owner after her last start win, she’d shown me she could win from the back and win from the front - I’m rapt to now own and train her.

“I’ve always known she’s a great little bitch, but this is probably the first time in her career where everything is spot on, I think she’s in for a big preparation.”

Albion Park


Mitchell looks to have timed his run perfectly for the winter program, but before then would love to see her post a time this week.

“I’d love to see her run some time this week, her two wins since she’s been back have been good but she’s run 34.80 over the 600 there and that’s where she needs to be to compete in the winter races,” he said.

“The Winter Chase Heats are on in a weeks’ time, so hopefully she can get a nice tune up this week and make it through to the final.

“The Chairman’s Cup is another 600 metre race in the next couple of months, as long as she’s fit and well, she’ll figure in.

“I’m happy to keep her at the 600 and not try the 710 with her yet, it’s something I may consider down the track but right now I think she’s right up there with Velocity Bettina as the best 600 metre bitches we have.”

Mitchell, like many others, started in greyhounds as a hobby and has developed it into his life’s work in recent years.

“I bought my first dog about twenty years ago off a mate I used to work as a butcher  for (Peter French) who owned, bred and trained dogs in Wagga,” he said.

“I went around to his place one day to have a look at them and found myself on the way home with a pup in tow.

“I was lucky my first one was a pretty handy bitch and I was able to go out and buy some more and make a real go of it for myself, race time was always something I looked forward to every week.

“We went through a few trials and tribulations with her early on - she got a tick that we picked up just in time and she was able to get over.”

Swift Dancer



Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 7:55 PM