AMBER Boody and husband Mick have made a quick adjustment to their new surrounds in Central Queensland.
The couple recently moved to Dalma, a rural community about 40kms west of Rockhampton, from their Brisbane base with instant success.
Amber led in a winning treble – Fix It Felix ($5), Blue Jeans Talk ($1.95 fav) and Love You Peaches ($1.75 fav) – at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park track late in September.
Mick’s nephew Ken, a leading Rockhampton trainer currently fourth on the club’s trainer’s premiership, is also based at Dalma.
Amber, who has been training for several decades, and Mick – a trainer in his own right – have been a force in the Brisbane region since moving from Mackay in the early 2000s.
One of their biggest wins came a few years later when Red Aces was victorious in the Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden (520m) at Ipswich in 2008.
The son of November Fury scored by four and a quarter lengths over the fast-finishing Lady Moscato ($8.40) with early leader Conjure Love ($15.20) a half length away third.
Mick and Amber had bred the dog from their former smart racing bitch, Dimple’s Choice, a winner of nine races mostly in Mackay.
Red Aces was one of six youngsters from the Boody kennel to take on the rich and testing Ipswich series that year, with another Shock And Awe finishing seventh in the final.
Mick Boody was reported as saying immediately after the race that the winner could be bought.
“He’s for sale … but at the right price, and that’s not $20,000,” he said.
Red Aces stayed with the Boodys.
A widely travelled sprinter, he continued to impress during his career, eventually retiring with a 56: 13-4-15 record.
He won races in Brisbane, Gold Coast, was placed at The Meadows and finished third to See Through in the 2009 Cairns Cup, but he had his most wins at Ipswich.
“Over the years we’ve had the odd good one,” Amber said last month.
One of those was the smart short-course sprinter Hollow Words (54: 15-8-8), winner of the 2019 Capalaba National Straight Track Championship (366m).
She said the kennel currently had 10 dogs racing or ready to race.
“We have a couple of unraced youngsters we’re preparing for the upcoming Maiden 1000 series at Rockhampton,” she said.
“We breed our own pups.
“We have two Sennachie litters down in Brisbane and we are sending a bitch to Whiskey Riot in a couple of days.”
Amber said the next group of pups to hit the track were from their former race sprinter Izy Fast (Nujooloo-Noble Amy).
“At the moment our Thirty Talks dogs are paying the bills,” she said.
The trainer was referring to a good group of sprinters from a Thirty Talks-New Abode litter headed by Love You Peaches (38: 14-7-4) and Blue Jeans Talk (32: 5-4-7).
1: How and when did you get involved in greyhound racing?
A: Mick and I had racehorses and they were costing a lot of money, so we decided we could buy well-bred greyhounds instead of no-good horses for the same amount of money. And we did not have to depend on other people every day, such as trackwork rider, farrier, vet, stable hand and so forth.
2: Who has been the greatest influence on you as a trainer?
A: My husband Mick as we have always worked together.
3: At what age do you start preparing a pup for racing?
A: We start to break them in at 12 to 13 months of age.
4: How long does it take to prepare a pup for its first race?
A: Several months … we look to start racing at about 20 months of age. Even if they look good, we wait.
5: What makes a good pup?
A: Education is the key … so as they have a few starts they improve as the penny drops.
6: Do you have a set routine for all your greyhounds or do you vary training for individual runners?
A: Yes, we have a set routine. We treat them all the same. They are all champions, till they prove otherwise.
7: Do you swim your dogs as part of your training regime?
A: We don’t swim our dogs.
8: How frequently do you like to race your dogs?
A: We like to race a dog once a week if it is sound enough to handle it. You won’t find any dog that races 52 weeks a year. Amby’s Dream raced for 42 weeks before he succumbed to injury. That is the most we have had.
9: Do you do treat all injuries to your dogs yourself?
A: Mick and I look after our dogs ourselves. We treat their injuries and if there is something we can’t handle we take them to a vet.
10: Which is the best greyhound you have trained?
A: We had a few break 30 seconds at Albion Park … the most recent being Bow Baby. She was the first dog to win her first start at an Albion Park class 1 meeting. We had Queen Of Tigers and Red Aces in the early years that were good. Others included Be Zany, For Luck, Parchment, Top Talker, who gave us Earned Talking and she gave us three litters – two to Barcia Bale with Hollow Words winning the inaugural straight track championship at Capalaba. Then for her next litter we used our own dog Izy Fast. Those pups are about to start racing. Izy Fast won a Cairns Cup and Ipswich Dog of the Year in 2005. He had 36 starts for 20 wins, 10 seconds and three thirds. Amby’s Love won the Bundy and Rocky Cups, while Regency Boy won the Mackay Cup for us and Rob and Karen Gudgen. Izy Ablaze was the best dog we’ve had. He won 11 races before succumbing to a hock injury. Lately Hollow Words, Bow Baby, Love You Peaches and many others have been good for us.
11: What do you consider is the best greyhound track in Australia and why?
A: We started racing in Mackay in the early 2000s and have mainly raced in Queensland. We’ve also raced at Lismore, Casino and Grafton in NSW and Warrnambool and Healesville in Victoria.
12: What does the industry need most going forward?
A: The industry needs two or three new tracks to go forward. We have a lot of racing on the tracks that we have and it places too much pressure on ground staff and club officials to maintain the tracks to keep them safe and in good order.
13: What is the best advice you could give someone just starting out as a trainer?
A: Make your animal happy, healthy and fit. Feed it the best food you can buy and don’t give it heaps of products.