FANTASTIC Skye scored the biggest win of her short career when taking out the Group 2 Laurels Classic (515 metres) at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
Stepping fairly from box one, the regally-bred daughter of Goodesy and Light Fantastic was able to rail underneath the early leader Sweet Barbados (box three) around the first turn, kicking clear to score a tenacious 4.38 length victory in a scintillating 29.35.
Trained by Kel Greenough, Fantastic Skye is owned by Appin-based Jason Fletcher, who told Australian Racing Greyhound he couldnt be happier with his pride and joy.
“She went super. She got the box she wanted but she still had to use it on the night and luckily for us she did,” Fletcher said.
“She was the favourite and although you can never go into any race too confident I was quite hopeful that she would go well.
“She is a great little dog – she has run in the 29.40s at Sandown Park a couple of times and hopefully she is going to keep improving with more experience.”
Fletcher bred the blue bitch and formerly trained her in NSW where she had 12 starts for five wins and four placings.
Fantastic Skye started her career in brilliant style, scoring in two of her first three starts including a slick 29.79 Dapto success on debut. However, her form soon began to taper off and Fletcher knew something wasn’t right.
“She started off really good and then she went off the boil,” he explained.
“I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t find it so I took her to Linda Corney and she found two grass seeds in her chest.
“Luckily Linda was able to get both of them out as they were very sharp and they were going straight into her chest muscle and since she has had them out there has been no looking back.”
Fantastic Skye won two in a row at Wentworth Park including a best of night 29.85 win which prompted Fletcher to send her to Melbourne in search of some lucrative titles.
Since joining Greenough’s kennel last month, Fantastic Skye has won four of her five starts, with prize money now in excess of $75,000.
Fletcher said he is very thankful to Kel and Jackie Greenough for putting the hard work into Fantastic Skye.
“I was very fortunate that Kel took her, I am very appreciative of the effort he has put into her for me,” he said.
“Kel and his wife Jackie are definitely some of the best trainers in the country and their record tells you that – it is not often you see one of their dogs miss finishing in the top three – they do a sensational job.
“Skye is a bit shy – she wouldn’t adapt to being in a large kennel and she loves a pat and a cuddle. Obviously she is getting plenty of that down there because she is thriving – she is going better for Kel than she ever was for me.”
Fletcher could be in for a big few months, with kennel star Fantastic Dotty, a litter sister to Fantastic Skye, currently enjoying a spell, but right on track for a crack at the Group 1 National Futurity which kicks off on January 23.
The black bitch won her first three starts, including the Group 3 Dapto Maiden, bursting into the spotlight with consecutive track records over the track and trip running 29.43 and 29.34 in her heat and semi of the series respectively.
“She has come down into milk after having a season but once she dries up she will be straight back into work and all going well her first target back will be the Futurity at Wentworth Park.
“I have always found that they come back bigger, faster and stronger after a season so hopefully that is the case with her, we will find out soon anyway.
“I also have their other sister Fantastic Tail, who holds the track record at Dapto over 600, in milk and she is probably a couple of months off being back, so Skye is flying the flag for the rest of them at the moment and I couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Despite having some of his top liners on the sidelines, there is no slowing down for Fletcher with Light Fantastic’s next litter to Swift Fancy all in work and looking promising.
The prolific producer is also set to become a mum again very soon and is currently resting up with a belly full of pups to Cosmic Rumble.
“It is very rare you get a brood bitch as good as Light Fantastic,” Fletcher reflected.
“There was seven in her first litter and they all won races including Fantastic Spiral who won the Dapto Megastar.
“She had six in the next litter to Goodesy, five of which are racing and have all been good with the sixth set to start in a week or two.
“I also have three from the next litter which are two in April and all are looking to be going well at this stage – so she hasn’t thrown a bad pup yet.
“She is in pup to Cosmic Rumble at the moment and I am hoping they will be half as good as her litters so far – if they are I will be very happy.”
Check out Fantastic Skye winning the Group 2 Laurels Classic.