He has clocked one of the fastest runs of all time at Wentworth Park and his come from behind victory in Adelaide to claim the 2010 National Sprint Championship made him a star but now his impact will be made in the breeding barn when Smooth Fancy was retired this week due to a fractured stopper bone injury. The retirement has many of his supporters saddened however another door opens with an amazing opportunity to continue the legacy of the extraordinary chaser through his future progeny.
It all began in July of 2009 when Smooth Fancy and trainer Dennis Barnes stepped out at the immortal Grafton track in New South Wales for a maiden race over the 407 metres and disappointment would be the only word to describe the result with the black dog coming 5th beaten by over 8 lengths.
From then followed a start at Coonamble over the 530 metres for another 5th placing and it wasn’t until his third start over the 520 metres at Bathurst from box seven where he made his break through recording a time of 30.48 and familiarly making his way through the field to win by two lengths after a slow start.
This win would be the start of four consecutive including a near record win at Dubbo over the 530 metres where he clocked 29.72 just a mere 0.01 outside the track record and a solid 30.86 performance at Richmond over the 535 metres. It was his effort at Dubbo that no doubt caught the eye of talented Londonderry based trainer Anthony Azzopardi.
Smooth Fancy’s first start under Azzopardi resulted in a third place contesting a heat of the Bendigo Cup over 430 metres. Azzopardi then took Smooth Fancy to Wentworth Park where his debut performance resulted in a third place followed by two more minor placings before he broke through for his first city win in a respectable time of 30.27 beating strong finisher My Third Gone. It was all smooth sailing from here as he began to make a name for himself as a serious big race contender with an impressive 28.87 win at Bulli over the 515 followed by two strong wins at Wentworth Park recording 29.75 and 29.82 with both winning margins exceeding ten lengths.
His first big assignment was the 2010 Group Two Bob Payne Winter Stake at Wentworth Park where his trademark come from behind performance was first displayed on the big stage. After beginning slowly from box two, he worked his way around the talented field that included; Take the Kitty, Outa Credit and Rev Limiter and was subjected to a check on the home turn before eventually rounding up leader Take the Kitty to score by half a head in 30.25. After drawing box three in the final, he was given a good chance however was repeatedly checked at box rise and ended up finishing in 6th place behind winner Did I Entertain.
After a short stint at Sandown Park over the 595 metre journey where he recorded a time of 34.44 in a heat victory of the McKenna Memorial and a 4th place in the final it was back to Wentworth Park where Azzopardi was attempting to cement Smooth Fancy’s place as a New South Wales representative in the coveted National Sprint series. After finishing second to arch rival Did I Entertain in the heats, revenge was on the agenda when Smooth Fancy exited from box four and got a good start before battling it out side by side with Did I Entertain in the back straight before motoring away from eventual second placegetter Snozz in the straight in a time of 30.19.
The journey was then made by Azzopardi and Smooth Fancy across the border to Adelaide and Angle Park where the final of the 2010 National Sprint Championship was being conducted. In a top class field, Smooth Fancy had to use all of his ability to overcome his rivals and did so in brilliant style winning by a head over Sandown Shootout winner Cosmic Chief in a speedy 29.49. His star was now shining bright and everyone in the greyhound world knew who and what Smooth Fancy was capable of.
No one except perhaps Azzopardi could have seen what was coming when the 2010 Paws of Thunder Semi Finals got under way at Wentworth Park. Drawing the tricky box six even Azzopardi was surprised with the way Smooth Fancy began recording a uncharacteristic 5.39 early split and once the green rug was leading at the first turn the punters were queuing up to collect their money when he stretched the eventual margin to almost nine lengths and clocked 29.48, a near record performance.
The son of Collision and Flash Fancy finished his career with an impressive 15 wins and 8 minor placings from just 32 starts with his win percentage just short of 50 percent. His dam Flash Fancy (Brett Lee x Miss Fancy) was no stranger to success having 13 victories and 9 minor placings from 39 starts which included a heat win of the Canberra Cup and she was also a finalist in the Group Three Queensland Cup and Canberra Capital Classic.
Her talent and ability has evidently been passed onto her offspring with Smooth Fancy’s half brother Perfect Fancy (Black Enforcer x Flash Fancy) trained by Victorian master Darren McDonald, currently at the peak of his career having only been unplaced once from 17 starts with 8 wins 8 minor placings included a spectacular 29.45 over the 515 metre journey at Sandown Park.
While the curtain closes on a rollercoaster career for Smooth Fancy, the joy he has brought to his owners, Anthony Azzopardi and the greyhound fraternity who will always remember his power and determination to succeed as a greyhound there is no doubt the diary will be full when Smooth Fancy is made available to stud. It’s only fair that his offspring emulate what he did in displaying class and heart, while no one would be surprised to see Smooth Fancy’s name at the top of the most successful breeding sires list in the years to come.