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‘Young’ Sam turns in a mighty effort
Thursday, July 14, 2016
With a whelping date of December 2012, from an age point of view Mighty Sam only just qualified for last Sunday’s Masters 400 metre event at Tara Raceway.
For greyhounds 3½ years and older, the Masters races have been introduced in order to give dogs the opportunity to race longer – 5½-year-old Black Barron Lad and rising five-year-old Ireland’s Oyster being two of Sunday’s runners.
As it was, with the older greyhounds taking priority, Mighty Sam found himself as a reserve before gaining a start from box six after last month’s Masters winner Alchemist Quest was scratched.
A winner of six races at Warrnambool, Ballarat and Horsham, the brindle and white dog quickly worked to the front after only a fair start and held out Ireland’s Oyster to win by three-quarters of a length in a handy 23.46 seconds.
The win was Mighty Sam’s first since late December – at Ballarat over 450 metres – for the Many Winners Syndicate and long-time trainer Peter Keane.
For Keane, another trainer from Koroit to find success at Tara Raceway, the win was his second in as many meetings after Don’t Say That had been successful on July 1.
By Cosmic Rumble, the well-bred Mighty Sam is out of Last Stress (by US sire Flying Penske) which won nine races and $41,000 in prizemoney.
In fact it was Mighty Sam’s breeding that prompted syndicate members Bev and Peter Keane, Paul Lenehan, Graham Dix, Blue Brookes and Garry Thomson to pay $4000 for him as a three-month-old pup.
The recently-retired Peter Keane, who currently has five greyhounds in work, trained his first winner in 1982 and since then has handled some pretty handy dogs including Carngairn and the locally-bred Miami Mike.
By Tempix out of Kori Spot, Miami Mike won 10 races including one over 732 metres at the old Olympic Park track in Melbourne.
Keane, at one stage, was also caretaker trainer for 1985 Melbourne Cup winner Sydney Dingaan when regular trainer Ned Bryant was indisposed.
But for all the greyhounds that have passed through his kennels over the years, Keane has no hesitation in naming Hoppy’s Girl (a half-sister to Sydney Dingaan) as the best he’s trained.
By Tangairn out of Sydney Gem, Hoppy’s Girl won six races at Olympic Park and Sandown Park, and one over 550 metres at Ballarat, before proving to be a prolific producer.
Meanwhile, Keane and his trusty sidekick Blue will be back at Tara Raceway tomorrow, hoping for the good run to continue when Mighty Sam jumps from box four in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 m).