Flying Amy … always a Hall of Famer
BACK in the mid 1990s, I had the pleasure of watching the great Flying Amy sweep to Hall of Fame success.
I saw her in both her Gold Coast Cup victories, a couple of Group 1s at Albion Park, and achieve some very memorable moments.
Those Gold Coast Cup victories will always remain with me as incredible performances of early brilliance and sheer determination to win … against some of the very best opposition.
At stud, Amy also achieved via the deeds of her great son Just The Best (by Credibility).
A dog able to run record times, he became a very good sire, an outstanding sire in fact. His daughter Bogie Leigh too is in the Hall of Fame.
Just The Best is found in pedigrees everywhere and he will be for decades.
Those who don't really understand the vagaries of greyhound breeding, expected more of Flying Amy at stud.
It was virtually impossible for her to recreate herself.
She had litters to Credibility, Bobniak, Awesome McLaren and Light Of Fire.
In all of them, with the possible exception of the Light Of Fire mating, she produced quality city performers.
That is more than enough for her to be declared a success.
Because of her greatness, owners who snapped up her daughters, gave them plenty of opportunity to produce.
It happened but probably not with the success we would all have thought or expected.
Amy Grace (Bobniak-Flying Amy) produced the record breaking Prang to a mating to Brett Lee.
To Token Prince she got Group class Smash Kingdom and Smack Macoy.
To Collide came the very classy Smashing Amy, Graceful Amy and Smash Palace.
Zippy Xena, another bitch from Flying Amy's litter to Bobniak, has produced some very smart gallopers including Ipswich Auction winner Rail Raider (by US sire Craigie Whistler), as well as Group class Farmor Swift, Black Attack and Flying Felicity.
There are many other daughters of Flying Amy who provided better than average city success through their progeny.
But the past few months has certainly thrust Flying Amy back into the spotlight.
It has come mainly through a dog called Bookkeeper (Bombastic Shiraz-Smashing Amy).
No one cheered him home harder than me when Bookkeeper led throughout to break the Meadows 600m track record when winning a heat of the Group 1 Hume Cup.
Bookkeeper had already been a finalist in the Canberra Cup.
His dam Smashing Amy (Collide-Amy Grace) was an outstanding galloper who won both sprint and distance around Wentworth Park in her 15 victories.
To time of writing, Bookkeeper has raced 33 times for 14 wins and eight placings. He is something else.
He also has a litter sister called Cyclone Simone who is really showing great potential with four wins from six starts and last week at Dapto she blitzed a graded field in the manner of a potential Group class bitch.
Amy Grace certainly has been the flag bearer of late for Flying Amy.
Her daughter Paula Grace (by Token Prince) went to New Zealand. Mated to the Brett Lee-Jaylo Blush dog Johnny Midnight, she has produced Smash Amy a finalist in this year's Group 1 NZ Oaks.
Zippy Xena too has continued to produced daughters to carry on the Flying Amy line.
Interesting that Zippy Xena, like Amy Grace, had a litter to Collide.
From Zippy Xena's litter came a bitch called Reneen Lass who, for Queenslander Greg Stella, has produced the very good Albion Park performer Rylee's Reign.
Greg is as good a greyhound trainer as any in this country. And as a devoted student of greyhound breeding, he and I have had many an interesting chat about pedigrees.
Another daughter of Zippy Xena is Nippy As, a litter sister to Rail Raider, who has already produced Paper Chaser (by Superman) the winner of 14 races.
Nippy As too has had a litter to Collide.
Let's hope breeder Paul Bushell has kept a couple of those bitches to breed with.
Which brings me to Kiss Me Ketut.
The black son of Bombastic Shiraz-Spiral Siyan continues to build on his reputation as a very good race dog.
He's been a finalist in both the WA Derby (he ran third) and the SA Derby.
A multiple city winner who always matches it with the best around, Kiss Me Ketut is bred almost identically to Bookkeeper.
Both are by Bombastic Shiraz, and both have the legend Flying Amy as their third dam.
Kiss Me Ketut is out of the Spiral Nikita-Flight And Life the latter from Flying Amy's litter by Light Of Fire.
Kiss Me Ketut is a half brother to the Cranbourne Cup and Sale Cup winner Mystic Apple (by Hallucinate) and the Black Enforcer dog Dodge The Batten.
What I find extremely interesting though is that Flying Amy, her daughters and granddaughters, are working exceptionally well with a variety of sirelines.
Merv Laffey, who bred and part-owned Flying Amy, and her trainer Ron Ball, mated the great bitch to Awesome McLaren.
The mating brought in a 2x1 cross of True Temptation (dam of Awesome McLaren) and Amy herself. They are genetic sisters both being by Amerigo Man and out of a daughter or granddaughter of legend Bay Road Queen.
The litter contained the very fast Albion Park performer Phantom Pilot and a Wentworth Park winner called Tintagel Lady.
At the time, I expected bitches from this mating to be great producers.
Tintagel Lady got some handy performers, but her daughters seem to be struggling to come up with the goods.
Certainly nothing like Smashing Amy has done with Bookkeeper or Spiral Siyan with Mystic Apple and Kiss Me Ketut.
Amy's daughters even made it to the US and produced winners.
Smashing Amy has since had litters to Fabregas (notably a son of Bookkeeper's sire Bombastic Shiraz) in December 2012 and to Go Wild Teddy in July this year.
Flying Amy, and her half sister Tenthill Doll, were the first two inductees into Australian greyhound racing's Hall of Fame.
Amy had her first start at Capalaba on September 25, 1993. She was a baby, but blitzed a Maiden field (as would be expected) in a flash time of 20.08 for a bitch up the straight.
Graham Beh, the former leading Queensland trainer and one of the great greyhound vets of his time, checked over Flying Amy throughout her career.
He once told me the bitch had no pain threshold.
She was really something on the track and still is as a broodbitch influence.