The curtain has fallen on a career that has brought a new meaning to love in WA greyhound racing and that dog is none other then Te Amo.
The daughter of Cosmic Rumble – Osti’s Bride, who gained the name Shots after she was born, captured the hearts of not only those who where directly connected to her, but the Australian racing community.
“It wasn’t just about us owning Shots and her being trained by Linda Britton, a lot of people around the country liked her as a dog and the way she raced”, breeder Michelle Romer explained.
“It was the biggest buzz having people love her. There are lots of good dogs out there and Shots had something special that people loved about her.”
Handler Luke Townsend was always at the forefront of her cheer squad in an important role at the other end of Te Amo’s lead. In May of 2013 Shots won her qualifying trial in a slick 30.50, the following week she went onto lower her time in her maiden to 30.48.
“One race really stuck in my mind. Before her maiden I had no idea how good she was and Linda being Linda didn’t say much beforehand. When she came out and won her maiden I actually freaked out, I remember looking at Linda (and) saying ‘oh my god!’ She replied saying ‘she’s a good dog Michelle.”’
Te Amo has retired a winner of 20 races from 51 starts with placing’s on 17 occasions. She recorded her personal best time of 30.28 at Cannington in April this year when she finished third behind On Coin.
It was her early speed out of the boxes that saw her land in front of the field time after time but it was her strength hitting the line that occasionally saw her come unstuck.
Te Amo also featured in four Group races, her biggest appearance being the Group One Sapphire Crown at Sandown Park where she finished fifth.
“I will miss not being able to see her on a racetrack again but I will be able to look at her replays all the time!”, Romer laughed.
“Why push her if she can’t race to her full potential? She has done enough; she doesn’t need to win any more races.”
Shots has spent the last few days settling into Romer’s kennel after a recent stint in Victoria, in the care of Robert Britton, where she had her last start in a Melbourne Cup Prelude finishing fifth from box four.
While owners Romer, Grant and Rebecca Adamson and Simon Allen are experiencing the happy-sad feeling that retirement brings to connections, they are waiting in anticipation for Shots’ career in motherhood to begin.
“Where she was born is where she will start her next stage of life. I’m just excited for her puppies and for her to live in the house and be my baby girl. She will have a really good life.”
After reconnecting with Shots, Romer is already experiencing the puppy with the angel kiss (crest) on her forehead that grew up in front of her eyes just over three years ago.
“Shots’ personality has not changed since she left, she is very bubbly! She has the same puppy eyes and is always wagging her tail. She remembers me.”
In the background Shots expressed her need for attention with a series of howls.
“She wants me to go down with her and play with her! Shots is going to have to know that I share time with her and the other girls I have here. It will be a rude awaking from racing to retirement but time will settle her down.”
Romer has a Collision straw that she is thinking might be suitable for Shots, but it is still very up in the air.
“I might let her have a season first and settle her in before I put her in pup. Her mother was a fantastic mum so I can only hope Shots is the same.”
Although racing enthusiasts around Australia will miss the little black bitch with the Spanish name for ‘I love you’ on WA soil, they will have her puppies to look forward to in years to come.