Shandell - A Hugely Successful Staying Career

The classy stayer Shandell was a true professional canine athlete from her race debut in May 2014 right through to August this year when she concluded her outstanding 82 race career.

Pictured: Arch and Gloria Lawrence with their pride and joy, Shandell

Professional! How does winning the New Zealand Stayer of the Year title for three consecutive seasons sound? Winning one title is a great achievement – winning three titles for the marathon-based greyhounds is astounding.

Then there was Shandell’s ultimate accolade when she was named as the 2015/16 New Zealand Greyhound of the Year.

“Outside of my family, racing Shandell has been the highlight of my life,” stated breeder, co-owner and trainer Arch Lawrence. Potentially that dynasty may very well continue in the future as Shandell’s mentor explains, “Shandell has been mated with Fernando Bale.”

We to have wind the clock back 17 years to start the Shandell story. Cambridge couple Arch and Gloria Lawrence are the modern day masters of the staying greyhounds. It was on 17 May 2000 when the strong stayer Cute Edition whelped a litter sired by the pacey Old Rowley.

Included in that litter was Lady Tianne. Prepared and raced by the Lawrence’s Lady Tianne, who won 14 races ($31,181), was to become the catalyst who shaped the sustained staying life changing story for them.

It was in September 2005 when Lady Tianne herself whelped a litter by Carlisle Jack which included Teegan. The Lawrence’s mentored her to eleven race wins ($43,157) before she went into the matron’s kennel.

Her first litter (by Primo Uno) in May 2011 produced Little Teegan who went onto win 13 races ($86,964). It was Teegan’s second litter, sired by Mogambo that was the real game changer for the Lawrence’s.

Shandell was whelped by her in August 2012 and she was one of six puppies in the litter. With the exception of one of them what was to transpire over the following five years was remarkable.

Combined those six siblings went on to contest 402 races. They won 96 of them and gained a further 129 minor placings. They contributed a tidy $500,942 in stake earnings (excluding around an additional $25,000 in Breeders’ bonus payments) to the Lawrence’s coffers.

Shandell stood out like a beacon. How does $235,132 in career winnings sound? You can add in excess of a further $20,000 in Breeders’ bonus payments to that. She accumulated that via 35 race wins and 26 minor placings from her 82 race day outings.

It was on May 8 2014 when Shandell made her race debut over 457m at Cambridge when she finished second. Her first win followed next up three weeks later when winning her maiden over 457m in 25.98s. Eleven races later Shandell earned her open class racing stripes, which were to remain with her throughout the balance of her career.

She first checked out a longer trip on 30 October 2014 when she prevailed over 650m in 37.61s again at Cambridge. Incidentally, her sister Teemaria, who also was to go on to enjoy a stellar career herself, ran second to Shandell.

In February 2015 Shandell claimed her first of what turned into five NZRS Distance titles over 755m in Wanganui, which was followed a couple weeks later by her $8,000 Manukau 779m feature race win on Auckland Cup night.

It was back to the Hatrick Raceway in early May where Shandell tasted her first Group 1 success when annexing her Wanganui Distance title (Teemaria was second) over 755m. A month later Shandell contested the first of her three Plasterboard Limited, Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar finals over the extreme Manukau 779m trip. It was to turn into a bittersweet experience as, after finishing second on race day, she was eventually promoted to win the 2015 edition following the disqualification of the race winner.

The 2014/15 racing season wrapped up with Shandell taking out the 732m New Zealand Stayers’ Cup at Addington at Group 1 level. She had accomplished enough throughout the season to be declared the season’s NZ Stayer of the Year winner.

Shandell Shandell Shandell
During the 2014/15 Shandell won the Auckland Stayers, then she went onto win the Wanganui Distance seen here with Arch and Gloria Lawrence; Shandell concluded the season with her NZ Stayers Cup victory (pic Dave Robbie)

Shandell’s first major race win in the next season came when she won the Nancy Cobain Memorial Distance in Palmerston North over 660m at Group 2 level. The NZ Cup night staying feature the $10,000 I Pave Concrete Sockburn Cup fell her way back at Addington. A pair of Cambridge (747m) and Addington (732m) NZRS Distance wins followed.

A couple of Group 1 second placings was next up. Shandell was the runner up in the Wanganui Distance (to Teemaria), plus also the Plasterboard Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar (again to Teemaria). The points gained by her over the 2015/16 season saw her winning her second NZ Stayer of the Year title. It was to get even better for Shandell as she then received the code’s ultimate accolade when named as the 2015/16 NZ Greyhound of the Year.

Shandell Shandell Shandell
Shandell after winning the 2015 NZ Cup night staying feature, the Sockburn Cup; Shandell with the Lawrence’s after one of her five NZRS Distance wins; In 2016 Shandell belatedly received her Plasterboard Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar dress rug

Shandell was quickly back into black type racing in the 2016/17 season when she prevailed in the early season Group 2 755m Wanganui Stayers, on this occasion again leading home Teemaria. The following month she chased home Can’t Catch Tim in the annual Kingston Cup at Addington also at Group 2 level. Can’t Catch Tim, trained by Ray Adcock and raced by his breeder Ray Amer, was to feature predominantly in Group race staying events.

Shandell’s specialty in picking up bonus breeders’ dollars for the Lawrence’s continued with NZRS Distance finals falling her way at both the Cambridge (747m) and Hatrick Raceways (755m). Minor placings were to follow for her future Group races. They came on her home Cambridge track in the Theresa McDonald Cup (747m), then another Plasterboard Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar (779m) second wrapping up with her third in the Wanganui Distance (755m).

Again the points Shandell earned throughout the 2016/17 season were sufficient for her to win an outstanding third consecutive NZ Stayer of the Year title.

Shandell Shandell Teemaria
Arch and Gloria Lawrence was presented with Shandell’s 2015/16 NZ Greyhound of the Year trophy by Jim Leach; Shandell after winning the 2016/17 edition of the Wanganui Stayers; We have to include a pic of Shandell’s sister Teemaria, who has been mated with Barcia Bale, as she also enjoyed a fantastic staying career – 87 races, 15 wins, 28 placings, $131,426 – Teemaria is pictured here following her 2016 Wanganui Distance victory

“It was when Rosemary (Blackburn) broke Shandell in when she advised me that she was a real strong bitch. I quickly realized that when I got her back up here (Cambridge). When she started racing I knew she was good, but I didn’t realize how good until later on,” Lawrence said.

“Shandell just kept on getting better and better. She was a natural who remained injury free throughout her career. She was an absolute pleasure to train, probably the easiest of all the greyhounds I have trained. Put simply Shandell enjoyed her racing. I have to say the same about Teemaria who really blossomed later in her career.

“It was very special to us that she won three NZ Stayer of the Year titles and it was a real proud moment when Shandell was named as the NZ Greyhound of the Year,” confirmed Lawrence.

Both Shandell and Teemaria will shortly undertake the journey down to Rosemary Blackburn in Rangiora to be whelped. Both Fernando Bale (himself a millionaire greyhound) and Barcia Bale are leaving numerous exciting chasing prospects between them.

We now look forward to the next couple of installments in the now 17 year reign of Arch and Gloria Lawrence breeding, owing and training Group race quality staying canine athletes.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 11/10/2017 10:27:06 AM

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