FORMER top greyhound Awesome Project (Collision x Honour Phase Mar ’11) has landed his first group win as a sire with the promising Ask King Jeff (Awesome Project x All Quality Jan ’16) winning the Group 3 Dapto Maiden Classic (520m) on Thursday night.
Trained by Sam Sultana, Ask King Jeff got a start off box eight as the first reserve and was quickly away from the traps, carving across to share the lead with Ben Hur (Luca Neveelk x Independent Lass Nov ’15) around the first turn.
Down the back Ben Hur pinched a break, but Ask King Jeff began cutting back the margin, bumping with the leader in the home straight before balancing up and finishing too strongly in 30.09.
Maggie Marvel (Fabregas x Lady Arko Aug ’15) flashed home for second, with Ben Hur rounding out the trifecta back in third spot.
Ask King Jeff is owned by Brad Canty, who also raced Awesome Project, with the Aberglasslyn-based owner elated with the performance at just his fourth race start.
“I bought this bloke off Kellie Fogarty as pup – she owns the mother All Quality and bred him. He broke in very well and he trialled 29.74 before the heats so the ability is definitely there,” Canty told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“But he is still only a baby – he is only 19 months old and he is still learning. He has never really been behind dogs before so he did a good job to make the final as he is only just learning to go past them.
“It was great to see him put it all together on Thursday night and show people what he is capable of.”
Awesome Project only has 10 litters on the ground, the eldest whelped in December 2015. So far, just seven pups by the black dog have hit the tracks including the exciting Give Us Double (Awesome Project x Kaliska Dec ’15) which has won two from two for Charmaine Roberts.
Awesome Project was a sensational greyhound for Canty, winning 31 of his 69 starts with 22 placings and more than $350,000 in prize money earnings. Amongst his wins were triumphs in the Group 2 Gosford Cup and the Group 2 Harrison-Dawson, whilst he also ran second in the Group 1 Temlee, third in the Group 1 Topgun and was a finalist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup, the Group 1 Winter Cup and the Group 2 Geelong Cup.
Canty said he couldn’t be happier with what he has seen so far and is predicting big things from the progeny of Awesome Project, led by Ask King Jeff.
“Awesome Project’s pups have only had a combined total of 15 starts amongst them so it is a big effort to have sired the winner of a group race already – it’s unbelievable,” he said.
“Sammy [Awesome Project] was a great dog to us so it is nice to see him getting some nice winners as a sire whilst he still has a good life – he sits on the couch and runs the house.
“I am very confident this dog [Ask King Jeff] will go a long way – he just keeps improving and the times he is running as a 19 month old pup are sensational.”