Being a competitive stayer is a tough gig for any greyhound. Having to chase hard around three bends for over 40 seconds, riding bumps and checks, relying on stamina more than sheer speed, is often too much for one animal to handle.
There are a select few however, who make a living out of this brutal caper, but even then, it is normally for a shortened time before a return to sprint trips beckon.
But for a dog to not only compete, but consistently win over the ‘half-mile’ trip on more than 100 occasions is the mark of a very special creature, hence the impressive legacy that South Australian stayer, Kalden Mayhem will leave behind.
Originally owned and trained by Dan Biddle in Western Australia, Kalden Mayhem is part of a super litter by Big Daddy Cool out of Abbadale Gold. In the early days, it was his Group winning littermates Kalden Athena and Pillow Torque that stole the limelight, making their names on the Eastern seaboard, while Mayhem stayed at home to pay his keep at Cannington’s Saturday night fixture.
But in late 2010, Kalden Mayhem made a debut appearance at Angle Park over the 515 metres. Running 29.83 in an easy win, it would earmark the start of a marathon journey in the Festival State.
While the rest of the litter had peaked and eventually enjoyed retirement, Kalden Mayhem kept on keeping on, backing up week after week, seemingly without injury or form lapses, and over last three years has forged his name as the king of Angle Park’s longest trip.
But on a run-of-the-mill Thursday night meeting at Angle Park, Kalden Mayhem entered the 731-metres boxes for the 37th time. As was so often the case, he would be sent out as favourite, expected to dispatch his rivals with his usual dominance. But this time the fire and flair had seemingly disappeared. The finishing burst that we had almost taken for granted just wasn’t happening, and unable to match it with his much younger competitors, he finished a distant fifth without ever really challenging for a higher position.
Sky Channel viewers would soon learn it was to be his swansong, and so became a sombre end to a career that deserved much more fanfare, more recognition and more acknowledgment.
This is a greyhound whose career numbers won’t be matched in this state, nor any other, for a long time to come. 123 career starts, spanning 41 months, for a total of 58 wins , 12 seconds and 18 thirds. From those 58 victories, an amazing 23 of them were completed over the 731 metres of Angle Park at a strike rate of 64% with his final win being completed at four years and ten months of age.
Box draws were never an issue for the 31kg blue chaser, as he won from every box at least four times, with a combined total 26 wins coming from either the three of four alley.
Courtesy of two qualifications to the National Distance Championship (2011 & 2013), Kalden Mayhem made appearances at over ten different tracks and thirteen different distances, including Albion Park, Sandown, The Meadows, Cannington and Wentworth Park as well as every track in W.A and three tracks in S.A.
It all culminated in a total career purse of $196,000; a higher total than other recent greats of South Australian racing in Scull Murphy, Satanic Cash and Lion Hearted.
This is a chaser who did his job week in, week out, for longer and more consistently than anyone could have imagined. While he never managed to eclipse a Group race final, the Biddle and Murray households can rest assured that their man had shone through as the brightest star in a constellation litter.
There will no doubt be dogs in the future that dominate the staying ranks with arguably more talent, but if they do it in the fashion that Kalden Mayhem did, they deserve to be regarded as a true champion.
Well Done Kalden Mayhem on a fabulous career, and on behalf of all South Australian greyhound fans, thank you for providing us with memories of a truly unbreakable stayer.