Emotional Manukau Sunday Maiden Victory

It was a poignant moment at the Manukau Stadium podium on Sunday afternoon following the running of the second race Maiden 318m sprint. Patrons had just witnessed a stunning race debut victory by Buddy Boom who completed his 318m sprint in a very smart 18.33s. His litter sister and kennelmate Ashen, who was also on race debut, provided the race quinella.

Pictured: The promising Buddy Boom following his stunning 18.33s 318m Sunday race debut victory.

Emotional scenes was then witnessed as the impressive litter mates were bred by Leo and Henny Laagland who passed away within days of each other last week. Family members attended the podium in memory of the couple who certainly were regarded as true “grassroots” industry participants. A minutes silence was then observed for the Laagland’s inside the stadium.

Both Buddy Boom and Ashen was broken in and are both trained locally by Jared Udy and Denise Cottam. The promise displayed by the siblings was graphically illustrated in their recent 318m qualifying trial when Buddy Boom clocked a handy 18.59s when leading home Ashen by 4.25 lengths.

Onto Sunday and as mentioned Buddy Boom sprinted through his 318m assignment in a slick 18.33s, with Ashen again finishing 4.25 lengths astern. Their dominance over their rivals can be gauged by the further 8.25 lengths back to the third placed finisher.

Buddy’s Boom’s 18.33s winning time was significant as the Manukau C0 318m grade is held by Belcroft Banker who was bred and raced by the Laagland’s. The dam of Buddy’s Boom and Ashen is La Cigale who is an unraced (owing to injury) litter sister to Belcroft Banker, who finished a really bold third in the 2017 Auckland Cup final.

The sire of the litter is Captain Coutts who himself was an ultra-consistent Manukau 318m open class sprinter for the Laagland’s. He was a finalist in the 2010 edition of the Railway Sprint final.

Henny’s Laagland’s first introduction to greyhound racing came well over 25 years ago when she worked as a tote operator at Manukau meetings. She formed an association with the late Ian Hastie initially taking one of his retired greyhounds Sacred Mission as a pet, which led onto the couple “catching the greyhound racing bug”!

The couple enjoyed early racing success with greyhounds like Wiremu who attained open class racing status. They also turned their hand to breeding where they enjoyed considerable success most noticeably with the very versatile greyhound Kitty’s Thunder.

Versatile as Kitty’s Thunder won over all four Cambridge race distances (375m, 457m, 650m & 747m). The Laagland’s were especially proud when they mentored Kitty’s Thunder to her effortless victory in the 2009 $11,000 NZRS Distance final at Cambridge over 747m. She was also the runner up in the 2008 running of the NZ Sires’ Produce Stakes over 527m at Manukau at Group 2 level.

Kitty’s Thunder then went onto to be a successful brood bitch for the Laagland’s with her progeny winning in excess of a $250,000 in stakes. And that brings us back to the current day as La Cigale is a daughter of Kitty’s Thunder. The Captain Coutts – La Cigale litter was the last litter bred by Leo and Henny.

Buddy Boom and Ashen Kitty's Thunder Captain Coutts

The emotional scene at the Manukau podium following the debut race quinella delivered by Buddy Boom and Ashen with their trainers Jared Udy and Denise Cottam being joined by Laagland family members; Kitty’s Thunder was an extremely versatile greyhound for the Laagland’s and she’s pictured here with son Dylan, long-time kennel supporter and friend Dave Bryn and Henny, while the couple enjoyed considerable success with their sprinter Captain Coutts who is pictured here with Leo along with David Campbell who enjoyed a long association with the Laagland kennels

Long-time friend and kennel supporter Dave Bryn commented, “Sunday was an end of an era for greyhound racing. It was the perfect final wrap up for Leo and Henny with the two maidens they bred running the quinella.”

The following is the notice that was placed for Leo and Henny Laagland. “Henny and Leo Laagland are continuing their love story in the skies above. A love so strong they could never be apart, showing us all what bravery, strength and courage is, what sacrifice means and most of all how powerful, beautiful and inspiring love can be.” Myke, Dylan, Fred and Nikki.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 12/03/2019 3:24:42 PM

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