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Boody back in the training ranks

By Isaac Murphy

Greyhound racing is in Ken Boody’s blood.

The Rockhampton trainer has been hands-on with his Dad Steve’s and Uncle and Aunty Mick and Amber Boody’s dogs since he was a kid, and is relishing his fresh start in 2020 with two runners in tonight’s Rockhampton Futurity and another in the Derby final.

“I’ve just started back training for the first time in 10 years, my wife Amanda and I had a bit of time off to let the kids grow up a little bit, we were always looking to get back into it and found a nice property just outside Rockhampton that had a dog license and no neighbours, so we thought now was the right time,” Boody said.

“We’ve had to be creative in getting dogs in the kennel and I met Warren (Nicholls) when he came up earlier this year to race and got to know him and said if he ever wanted to send anything up to race, we’d be happy to take them.

“Now we’ve got Take Your Shot and Everest in the Futurity final for him and Tracey (Nicholls).

“They’ve just recently sent us up another couple, so while it’s working for both parties hopefully, we can keep the partnership going.”

The girls go off first in race six tonight and Boody’s most likely chance comes in the shape of Take Your Shot, who has taken to his new surroundings perfectly.

“We wanted to take it slow with Take Your Shot and getting her in a pathway at Bundaberg was a good start to give her a bit of confidence coming off some tougher races down in Brisbane,” Boody said.

“She’d already had a 500 run up here in Rocky, so we knew she’d handle it and stepped her straight up and she’s had no problems.

“I took a bit of a shot at the stumps with the Bundaberg Cup more with an eye to the Consolation, she wasn’t quite up to it and came away with a minor foot injury, but that was two-and-a half weeks ago and she should be up and about tonight.”

Races

6

Rockhampton | Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club | 8:15 PM

Central Queensland Futurity F

Boody’s second runner Everest is a recent arrival and while he sees plenty of ability, she might need a few more miles in the legs.

“Between her and Everest I’d say she’s the better chance, if she can get around that first corner near enough to the lead I think she’ll be in the finish, but Darren Taylor’s dog Precious Hope in the one is a Rockhampton Cup finalist and I think she’ll be the one to beat,” he said.

“Everest has only come up to us recently and while she had a good win in a pathway over the 407 metres, it’s a big step up for her tonight, I would have loved to have had a heat and final to give her an extra look - I think she might need the run.

“Looking at her Brisbane runs I think she has the speed to get up there and challenge for the front early, she might just feel the pinch with the distance, she hasn’t run the 500 metres in a while and she was flat out winning over the shorts.”

A lot has changed in the 10 years Boody had been out of the game and getting an understanding of what type of dogs would suit his home track was a lesson learnt.

“It’s a really hard 510 metres up here, when we first got started again I bought three dogs from down in Victoria who all had early speed and could rail, but I found out pretty quickly that’s not the type of dog that wins often at Rockhampton,” he said.

“It was a quick learning curve because every time the track would get a bit heavy the dogs would really struggle on the fence, there seems to be a bit of a fast lane three of four dogs out, so I’ve changed the type of dog I’m looking for now.

“After watching Are Jay Lochie and Rose Ali for Darren Taylor who both run that line up here and have cleaned up in the Free For Alls, that’s definitely the type of dog you want.”

Boody looks to have found his prototype in Bago Dry, who jumps as second favourite in tonight’s Derby after a sustained run of form.

Races

8

Rockhampton | Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club | 8:55 PM

Central Queensland Derby F

“One of my good mates actually picked out Bago Dry and gave him to me to train, he’d been looking for the right dog for a while and picked him up from rural New South Wales where he hadn’t done much his first few starts,” he said.

“When we first got him, he wasn’t much to look at and wasn’t doing anything exceptional but he settled in fairly quickly and the results started coming.

“The Barcia Bale/Oxley Rubey breed are very strong and we didn’t muck around getting him to the 510 up here.

“He’s gone from strength to strength in the last six weeks, he broke his Novice in good time, and I think that was the turning point because he’s won four from five over the track and trip since.”

The dog’s good record will be tested tonight against one of the toughest fields he’s faced, but at his best Boody knows he can win.

“The key tonight will be not giving Sumatran Star too much reign, he’s been winning races down in Brisbane and will be quick out from box one,” he said.

“My boy has a bit of a tendency to get up the track, so hopefully we don’t give him too much room early.

“I probably would have preferred him drawn out wide, if he has a bit of room to his outside he can drift out and really cut down on the bend, he can still do that from box two but it makes it a bit tougher.

“His track sense has come along in leaps and bounds and he’s going to need it, a couple of Dallas Beckett’s dogs are quick out from the middle of the line so if he avoids them, he’s a big chance.”

Boody said his return to the training ranks was just what he needed and was rapt to have representation in both finals, but keep an eye out for what’s to come because the trainer has big plans.

“I’m a fly in fly out worker, so it’s not just me doing that hard work, my dad Steve and wife Amanda hold the fort while I’m working - it’s a team effort,” he said.

“The dream has always been able to train full-time and while we’re a while off that, we’re heading in the right direction - a result tonight would be huge.”