Twenty two year old Clay Mullens is achieving feats that dreams are made of within the greyhound racing industry. On Saturday night the Londonderry mentor experienced his biggest thrill thus far with Calm Model collecting the $20,000 to the winner Richmond Oaks.
Drawn in box four, the daughter of Collision was able to sit second behind Princess Black in the run out of the first turn before hitting the lead down the back when the leader drifted out wide. Once in front, Calm Model gave nothing else a chance, stretching out to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths in a slick 30.48 seconds.
Running on well in second position was Hunter Valley bitch Blow The Doh for Emanuel Borg with Kristy Sultana’s Hidden Danger a further half a length behind in third. After a slow beginning race favourite Amadeus Strikes found plenty of trouble and did a good job finishing in fourth position.
Calm Model went into the event with little support from punters, paying a lucrative $20.60 for the win, however Mullens knew what the red brindle bitch was capable of, “I Knew she could do it but I wasn’t expecting it. As long as she ran a good race I would have been happy”, Mullens explained.
“She is super strong. I said going into the event if she could come out and sit behind one of the others that she would be able to run them down”.
“She got into a good position behind Princess Black and got a clear run through on the inside when she ran off. If she was on the outside of Princess Black it might have been a whole different story”.
The victory was the fifth win from eighteen starts for the 24 kilogram pocket rocket who claimed her heat the week prior in a handy 30.85 seconds.
Mullens has only been training greyhounds for two years and originally comes from a family involved in thoroughbred racing. The young gun made the intercode transition with his first greyhound, Clay Model, the mother of an exceptional young litter currently in work which includes Calm Model.
“Clay Model was a trial track champion but her race form did not show her true ability. I knew the ability she had and the times she could run which is the reason I bred from her,” Mullens said.
“I went to Collision because I knew it would be a good cross- I just didn’t realise how good!”.
Also scoring on Saturday night for Mullens was another member of the Clay Model litter, Fast Archer, who recaptured his glistening form at headquarters when landing a strong victory in a fast 29.72 seconds. The black chaser is a winner of ten races from just twenty starts and was runner up in the group three New Sensation at Wentworth Park in March.
The double on Saturday came after a successful evening at Unibet Gardens on Friday night when another littermate Chemical Maker scored an impressive victory clocking a brilliant 29.76 seconds over the 515 metre trip. The win from box five was in the first heat of the Gardens to Wenty series, with Chemical Maker looking the one to beat heading into this week’s final.
The three speedsters are not the only talented members of the litter which also includes Camouflage Model, Choices Made, Crash Model and Spud Gun with all of the youngsters showing enormous potential on the racetrack.
Mullens claims not much separates the siblings, “On form Fast Archer is the best but ability wise they are pretty much the same. Calm Model is the strongest, Spud Gun is the quickest early and if you trial them Chemical Maker would probably trial the fastest but Fast Archer is the best field dog and puts all his ability on the track”.
Remarkably all members of the litter tip the scales under 29 kilograms, yet they show plenty of gusto in their races; “They are all really small. The bitches are around 23 kilograms and the dogs are around 27 kilograms but they are all heart and that’s what makes the difference in their races”.
Mullens currently trains from a property in Londonderry and has around 60 dogs including pups. He also credits much of his recent success to Gary and Luke Adams who live on the same property and assist with the routines and hard work that go into running a greyhound property
As for what comes next, Mullens has a few plans in mind for his talented team, “I will probably set up a group race campaign for Fast Archer. He has the ability to win a good group race and proved that he was back to his best on Saturday night because he got pressured in the run but still managed to find the line super strong”.
“I was thinking of taking Calm Model over to Cannington for the WA Oaks but the heats are this weekend and she pulled up a bit flat from her run- she really put in 110% so I want to do the right thing by her and not push her too soon”.
“I will probably look at a 600 metre event at the Gardens for her”, Mullens revealed.
Wherever he heads next, Mullens is in for a successful run with his promising pups that are not even two and a half years old yet. The ultra-consistent littermates have plenty of potential and are already starting to shine like the stars they are destined to be on the track. Mullens is also set for a busy few years with more pups out of Clay Model on the ground with the terrific producer due on season again soon.
With everything currently working in his favour, the sky is the limit for Mullens who is definitely a young trainer with a dazzling future ahead of him.