Black Hill trainer Denis Anderson will be hoping that his promising young bitch Snow Bite can handle the rise in distance when she tackles the final of the Gardens Social Club Versatility at Unibet Gardens this Friday. The intriguing event saw runners qualify last Friday over the 400 metre sprint but rather than returning to the corner start this week, chasers will start from the 515 metre boxes- a gruelling task for many who have never had a start beyond ‘400’.
Snow Bite is one such greyhound. The daughter of Lochinvar Marlow and Four Way Touch began beautifully in her heat last week and landed straight in the lead but had to muster all her might to push through when pressured from out wide. Half way down the back straight Snow Bite was able to kick clear from her competitors and from there she was never in danger, stretching out to score by four and a quarter lengths in 23.12 seconds. Anderson went into the event quietly confident that she would go well however he did not initially realise that the final this week would be over the longer trip.
“I was pretty confident that she was a good chance last week because she is usually really fast early and I knew that if she jumped they would have to run her down which they didn’t”, Anderson said.
“She didn’t break 23 seconds last week but I think she is capable of running good times there”.
“When I nominated her I just put her in for a normal 400 metre race and didn’t realise until I got to the kennels last Friday that it was a final over 500”.
Despite the sharp rise in distance, Snow Bite has had a post to post this week and Anderson is happy to start her in the $3000 to the winner final.
Remarkably none of the runners have started over the track and distance at Unibet Gardens and none of them have won a race over 500 meters, making it a case of who jumps and can lead will probably win if they can see out the trip.
“I think it will be an even race because a lot of the other runners have never been over the distance either. Many of them will have never raced through the pen and will probably be looking for it as they go through- she will probably be a bit the same”, Anderson chuckled.
Snow Bite will jump from box eight in the final, with Anderson not too worried about the draw.
“I don’t think box eight is a concern. If she can jump well and get across and stay out of trouble she has a chance. If she lands on the bunny she will be right in it but if she gets tangled up she won’t be because I don’t think she will be strong enough to run them down”.
Snow Bite’s competition includes fellow heat winners Make A Fifty, Barb’s Zip and Your Own Peril who have drawn in boxes three, five and seven respectively.
Make A Fifty is a winner of six races and scored his heat in a slick 22.79 seconds before heading to Wentworth Park on Monday where he placed third in the 280 metre scamper.
Warren Kelly’s Barb’s Zip was a dominant winner in his heat, leading all the way from box seven. The son of Oxley’s Tiger has also won six races with last week’s 22.79 second win just outside his 22.70 second best. His biggest issue is that he is a bit hit and miss at box rise so he will have to get a clear run to be in with a chance from box five.
Your Own Peril is putting together quite a good record with nine starts for four wins. The daughter of local sire Take The Kitty overcame a poor draw from box six last week to defeat Glamorous Opal by one and a half lengths in a handy 22.97 seconds.
It will be no surprise to see Glamorous Opal reverse the efforts of her last start from box four in the final. By Magic Sprite out of Awesome Opal the black bitch is a litter sister to the freakish Black Magic Opal so is certainly bred to run quickly and should be able to run the distance.
Even though her competition is tough, Snow Bite still has a strong chance of providing Anderson with a great thrill as a relatively new trainer. Anderson is a hobby trainer who also owns a business in Black Hill, Anderson’s Cedar Furniture, which has been operating for 27 years. Anderson has been training for the past five years.
“I have only been training for about five years. I got into them because my son and his grandfather, my wife’s father Charlie, brought a pup each. I then brought one and it has just grown from there”.
Working with a small team, the greyhounds have been infectious for the Anderson family, bringing him and wife Marian together with a common hobby to share.
“My wife, Charlie and I share the workload. It’s nice for my wife and me because we do the dogs together and they are all we talk about-or so the kids keep telling us”.
“We have four racing dogs in work and a couple that have just been retired that will be going through the adoption program. We also have a heap of pups; we currently have nine by Dyna Lachlan out of Seafood Banquet”.
Anderson brought Snow Bite as an unbroken 16-17 month old pup. The black bitch has now had eight starts for two wins and three minors and looks set to be a terrific little money spinner for the keen enthusiast.
With a strong passion for greyhounds and a positive attitude the Anderson family will go a long way within the industry. It is great to see such commitment and dedication from new and aspiring trainers- a trait that will ensure that the Anderson name is sure to be one you will hear in the future.
The Gardens Social Club versatility is race eight this Friday and will jump at 6:03pm.