Galaxy Great grabs success as sire

Swimming Goat (pictured) has sired his first winner. Photo credit: Peter Fenemor.


Nearly four years after Swimming Goat swallowed up his second Galaxy, he has secured his first winner as a sire. The former short-course sprinting star has only had two runners represent him to date from his first litter out of Saving Lots.

Kirkby delivered on debut at Addington on Sunday to break the duck, after his brother Gotcha Coby had gone winless through five starts. 

Calum Weir prepared Swimming Goat from the time he landed in New Zealand as a C3 sprinter to the end of his 89-start career of which he won 59, including three Group 1 races. As well as saluting twice in the Galaxy on his home track at Addington in 2016 and 2017, he also ran his Railway rivals ragged at Manukau in the 2017 edition of that elite sprint.

“We owe so much to him. He’s still living with us and he’ll live out the rest of his life with us,” Weir said on the Kiwi Chasing radio show on SENTrack.

“It was a fantastic time in my life and one that helped me grow as a person.”

Despite Swimming Goat’s fine feats on the track, which included a record run of 22 consecutive wins, he has struggled to attract attention at stud.

“He’s only got two litters and they’re both ours,” Weir reported. “There’s nine pups out of Zipping Marlisa which chase hard, but they’re a bit behind where we’d like them to be due to the lockdowns.”

Weir has progressed three runners through to the semi-final stage of the current Galaxy series which take place on Wednesday (November 3). Portelli Punk, Thrilling Millie & Gotcha Murphy were sent south to his kennel by Central Districts trainer Kellie Lincoln-Papuni.

“We’re very lucky that Kellie has entrusted us with her dogs, and with the Covid restrictions, it made sense to send them down and not travel back and forth with them,” Weir said.

Portelli Punk is rated the best chance of the trio, after his strong heat win in a terrific time of 17.07 in his first start at Addington.

“He didn’t jump as well as he will need to in the semis but he’s one that doesn’t need to lead, which is unusual for us,” Weir mused. “He really excelled in the heat and it was good to see him stretch out. It gives us the confidence that he can run in the top two and make the final.”

Portelli Punk is on the fourth line of betting in the Galaxy futures market with the New Zealand TAB at $14. He has drawn the toughest semi against fellow heat winners Seve ($5 second favourite) and Bigtime Cooper ($7.50 joint third favourite).

Thrilling Millie ($81) and Gotcha Murphy ($201) are much longer odds prospects, but both pleased Weir in the opening round.

“Thrilling Millie should improve with that run,” Weir suggested of her two-length heat third behind Seve.

“She’s smaller than the others so we probably need a bit of luck with her, but Kellie doesn’t mind her out wide.”

Thrilling Millie will jump from Box 8 seeking a top two placing in the first semi-final, where she will face the raging futures favourite, Typhoon Tim ($2.20).

Gotcha Murphy is the rank outsider of the 32 semi-finalists attempting to make the top eight. Weir knows the dog well, as he bred and owns him. 

“He was very tired the day after his heat, so he gave it everything he had,” Weir declared. 

“He does everything right but it’s the last little bit that he struggles with.”

Weir is aware that it’s unlikely another Swimming Goat will come his way, but for now, he’s grateful for the opportunity to put the collar around sprinters that, with luck, just might have him seeing stars in the Galaxy once again.


By Mark Rosanowski

Posted on 02 November 2021

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