NZ Greyhound of the Year Finalists

Three very classy greyhounds have been announced as 2016/17 New Zealand Greyhound of the Year finalists. The winner of the Code’s ultimate accolade will be revealed in Invercargill during the awards evening on 16 September.

Pictured: Dyna Vikkers, 2015/16 NZ Greyhound of the Year

The three finalists are (in alphabetical order):

American Warrior (Owners Whittington Sprod – Trainers Dave & Jean Fahey)

37 races – 25 wins, 5 2nds $130,555

Group 1: 1st New Zealand Cup
Group 2: 1st Far South Challenge; 1st Palmerston North Gold Cup
Regional features: 1st Waikato Cup; 1st Jack Hannon Memorial Cup, 1st Invercargill Cup
Track record: Ascot Park 457m (25.69s); Ascot Park 457m (25.57s)
2nd NZ Middle Distance of the Year (on points); Highest NZ stakes earner $130,555

American Warrior easily won the nation’s richest greyhound race, the $100,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup. He also added the annual Far South Challenge (Ascot Park) and the inaugural running of the Palmerston North Gold Cup (Manawatu) both at Group 2 level.

Regional feature races that fell his way included the Waikato Cup (Cambridge), Jack Hannon Memorial (Cambridge) and the Invercargill Cup (Ascot Park). He proved to be virtually unbeatable on the big sweeping one turn traps as seen when he won ten of his twelve 457m races on the three one turn tracks in this country. During the season he lowered the Ascot Park 457m track record twice. The $130,555 stakes he won during the season was easily the highest won by any greyhound throughout the season.

American Warrior American Warrior American Warrior
American Warrior winning the NZ Cup (pic Dave Robbie); American Warrior with his Waikato Cup; American Warrior was a versatile greyhound – he’s pictured here with co-trainer Dave Fahey after winning his Manukau track debut race over the 318m dash

Ring The Bell (Owners Four Frothy’s Syndicate – Trainers Gerry O’Keefe & Ray Adcock)

6 races – 6 wins $70,170

Group 1: 1st Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar, 1st NZ Stayers’ Cup
Group 2:
Regional features:
Track record: Forbury Park 770m 46.28s

Ring The Bell crossed the Tasman from Victoria as a highly rated staying greyhound. He confirmed that fact when he convincingly won the prestigious Plasterboard Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar over the Manukau 779m journey.

He then transferred into the Ray Adcock kennels who prepared Ring The Bell to completely dominate the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Stayers Cup series with the 732m series providing him with his second New Zealand Group 1 title.

Ring The Bell concluded the season with a visit to Forbury Park, where he obliterated the long standing Forbury Park 770m track record when scampering over the staying distance in an outstanding 46.28s (previous record was 46.93s).

Ring the Bell Ring The Bell Ring The Bell
Ring The Bell wearing the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar; winning the New Zealand Stayers Cup (pic Dave Robbie); trainer Ray Adcock with kennel hand Jordan Bryce after his New Zealand Stayers Cup victory

Thrilling Boris (Owner Gary Harding – Trainer Karen Walsh)

19 races – 12 wins, 1 2nd, 2 3rds $70,250
Group 1: 1st Waterloo Cup, 1st Hatrick Classic, 3rd Spion Rose
Group 2: 1st Waikato Classic
Regional features: 1st NZRS Advanced final (Manawatu)

One can only wonder what this superb greyhound would have achieved if firstly illness, then injury didn’t occur which severely curtailed his racing season. Thrilling Boris convincingly won the Waterloo Cup over 527m at Group 1 level which earned him a prized start in a heat of the world’s richest greyhound race, the A$600,000 TAB Melbourne Cup. An untimely bout of kennel cough then intervened resulting in the Melbourne trip being abandoned.

Thrilling Boris resumed racing to win a heat of the Group 1 Spion Rose Cup, then he went on to finish third in the 520m final. He won his home track 457m Waikato Classic title at Group 2 level, then in January he returned to Hatrick to annex the newly instigated Group 1 Hatrick Classic 520m event. He then suffered a season ending injury when contesting the Group 1 $80,000 Plasterboard Auckland final over 527m.

Thrilling Boris Thrilling Boris Thrilling Boris
Trainer Karen Walsh with Thrilling Boris after his Waterloo Cup win and also following his Hatrick classic victory; Thrilling Boris after winning the Waikato Classic

By Peter Fenemor

 

Posted on 28/08/2017 3:56:04 PM

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