Fancy Pants just keeps getting faster

\"\"Caption: Owner-trainer Scott Atkinson with his smart young sprinter Fancy Pants, winner of last month’s $3675 Townsville Maiden 1000 Final (380m). (Photo: Louise Partland)

By MIKE HILL

EX-soldier Scott Atkinson has his hands on one of the smartest young greyhounds to hit Townsville in 12 months.

The well-bred Fancy Pants (Mepunga Blaze-Dyna Fancy) was the talk of the north last month after impressively winning her first three race starts, including the $3675 Townsville Maiden 1000 Final (380m), improving her times each run.

Very few maidens break 22s for the 380m journey, but Fancy Pants debuted with a 21.97s effort in a heat of the Maiden 1000, reducing it to 21.78s in the feature final  and then a week later clocked a super BON 21.63s with a  five-and-a-quarter length novice victory.

The time was only .21s outside Tipsy Four\’s track record of 21.42s.

\”I left the track a very happy man after that run,\” said an obviously proud Atkinson.

\”She might be something special. It was a very good time for a novice dog. She\’s a sound little bitch.

\”She\’s just 25kgs, but she has a big heart. She keeps going even after copping bumps – that\’s what I like about her. She got bumped a few times in her first two runs, but she still pushed through.\”

Atkinson, an electrician in the Army for 15 years, and his wife Stacey have two daughters Mikayla, 15, and Chelsea, 13.

He has only had his trainer\’s licence for about two years, although he has been in owner syndicates with Victorian mate Sean Cameron for some time.

Atkinson said his mate, who lives in Bendigo, had talked him into getting into a syndicate with him racing the sprinter Cooper Scooper a few years back.

\”It worked out great because he (Cooper Scooper) won at both Sandown and The Meadows, \” he said.

And it was through his mate that Atkinson secured Fancy Pants earlier in the year.

He said in her first Townsville trial over 380m she clocked 22.40s … \’that\’s OK, I thought.\’

\”But after that she got quicker and quicker,\” the trainer said.

He hasn\’t received any offers for the talented bitch so far … \’and even if I do, I\’ll probably say no\’.

\”I\’ll be quite happy to just crack along with her, although you never say never,\” he said.

\”I have no major plans. We\’ll just go through the grades … we have the Futurity and Young Guns coming up.\”

Atkinson said he was hoping to trial Fancy Pants over the longer distance in coming weeks.

\”I want to see how she handles the 498m trip,\” he said.

\”I think she will be fine, particularly after the way she pulled up the other night. I want to get her used to the tricky 498m bend start.\”

Atkinson said Meg, Fancy Pant\’s kennel name, was a bit of a nightmare at home.

\”She whinges and barks, but she\’s a different dog at the track … she\’s calm and she\’s a nice box dog,\” he said.

Atkinson left Army life a couple of years ago with a medical discharge and at the time he had a dog with leading Townsville trainer Robert Lound.

He hadn\’t planned on taking up the collar and lead, but Lound had become unwell and Scott decided to give the trainer a hand.

\”I obtained a handler\’s licence and a bit later on I decided to have a crack at training myself,\” he said.

Atkinson, who has seven dogs in work, shares kennels at Lound\’s property.

\”Go Molly Go is probably my best sprinter so far and Aston Lane and Here Comes Pappa are also going quite well,\” he said.

\”Loundsey has been a big help in my development as a trainer.

\”I think you will always be learning in this game, but things are going OK so far.\”

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