$100,000 Buy To Flick Switch In Thunderbolt

TWO Christmases ago, Shane Whitney settled into a work dinner in Tasmania and found himself alongside Steve Wyles who owned the business.

TWO Christmases ago, Shane Whitney settled into a work dinner for the staff of Choices Flooring down in Tasmania and found himself alongside Steve Wyles who owned the business.

Whitney, who had trained superstar stayers Chinatown Lad and his litter sister Fallen Zorro, had been out of greyhound racing for three years.

Shane was working for Choices Flooring, laying floors of course.

During the Christmas festivities, Steve related to Shane he owned 80 harness horses.

Shane countered that he had been a greyhound trainer … modesty stopped him from relating that he had prepared superstars.

"Steve said if I got back into training, he would be happy to buy me some dogs," said Shane.

"I didn't even have a license at the time, so I had to go through all the requirements of police check, proficiency check, you name it."

One of the first dogs Steve bought for Shane was Hit The Switch which on Saturday night runs for a $75,000 pay day in the final of The Thunderbolt (350m) at Grafton and he goes into the race coming off a 19.89 fastest semi-final victory.

"Steve paid $100,000 for Hit The Switch," said Shane. "He was being trained by Ted Medhurst at the time and I knew his then owner and approached him about selling.

"He is a great dog but has had many injuries along the way which often restricts his racing to a handful of starts at a time.

"He was way underdone when second in a heat of the Hobart 1000 last year but bolted in with the Consolation."

Whitney says Hit The Switch has even more improvement in him for Saturday night's bumper final.

"He is peaking at the right time," he said.

Hit The Switch winning his semi-final of The Thunderbolt Picture: Robert Brandolini

"Before the heat he had not had a run for two months. I just hope he runs well for Steve who is the greatest bloke and deserves every success.

"He has been very supportive in my comeback to training and is right behind my move with my family to Queensland."

Whitney says the first two strides out of the boxes in Saturday night's final will decide the race.

"The red (Brute Banner) will be hard to beat, but a race like this is decided by those first couple of clear strides out of the lids," he said.

Other semis went to Brute Banner in 19.90 for Kim Mulrine, Short And Stumpy for Lyn Smith and Dominic's Girl for Vic Sultana.

The Thunderbolt (350m) in box draw order: 1 Brute Banner, 2 Dominic's Girl, 3 Cash On Delivery, 4 Bumpy Gold, 5 Short And Stumpy, 6 Hit The Switch, 7 Running Reds, 8 Dino Way. Res: 9 Enzo Herrera, 10 He's A Dazzler.

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