A tribute to Kayda Shae: Star Victorian passes away

SUPERSTAR sprinter Kayda Shae has died, with co-trainer Kelly Bravo taking to social media late on Friday night to break the devastating news.

Bravo said she was ‘heartbroken’ at the loss of the fawn flash, which won 11 of his 25 starts and run a further eight minor placings.

The son of Kilty Lad and Cosmic Aphrodite started his career in March 2015, scoring three on the trot at Warrnambool (25.50, 25.13) and Sandown Park (29.27). Having displayed an abundance of talent early in his career, Bravo wasted no time in seeing just how good he was, entering him for the heats of the Group 2 Warrnambool Cup at just his eighth career start. Winning his heat in a scintillating 24.99, Kayda Shae was far from disgraced when running fourth in the final behind the classy Ronray Spirit.

Following his campaign at the ‘Bool, Kayda Shae made his first trip interstate for the heats of the Group 2 Cyril Rowe Gold Cup at Bulli. Stepping from box two in his qualifier, the 34 kilogram powerhouse worked hard to reach the front from midfield, powering clear over the latter stages to win by five and one quarter lengths in 26.23. He returned the following week for the $40,000 to the winner final where he was able to overcome box five to secure his maiden group victory in a blistering 26.07.

After finishing seventh at his next start in a heat of the Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic at Wentworth Park, Kayda Shae returned to Victoria where he ran second behind champion sprinter Fernando Bale in a heat of the Group 1 Victorian Sprint Championship, finishing fourth in the final behind Margins.

He then returned to Sandown Park, finishing second in a FFA before bouncing back to his brilliant best in a heat of the Group 3 Cranbourne Puppy Classic, running an electrifying 29.78 before finishing a close second in the decider to Darren Pattinson’s Blazin’ Bomber.

Next it was the Healesville Cup, with the greyhound showing his sheer speed up the straight with a 19.08 heat win. Returning for the final and it was another placing for Kayda Shae, finishing just over a length off Allkel To Excel in a nippy 18.80.

Kayda Shae then tried his luck at Rapid-fire racing, contesting the inaugural Speed Star at Sandown Park. His overall time of 29.10 saw him finish runner-up yet again, this time behind Smart Missile (29.01).

Team Bravo then made the trip across to South Australia for a crack at the Group 1 Adelaide Cup, with Kayda Shae finishing second in his heat behind Shared Equity. Starting from box seven in the $75,000 to the winner event, the speedster ran another honest race to fill the trifecta behind Fernando Bale and Marlow Brown.

His form did enough to earn him an invitation for the Group 1 Topgun at The Meadows and, despite another second placing, it was arguably the best performance of his career. Stepping from box two, Kayda Shae was able to track Fernando Bale into the race, checking off the champ’s heels around the first turn before balancing up down the back and producing a massive finishing burst to finish under half a length off the white and dark brindle dog in 29.57.

His next start was in the Group 2 Sandown Shootout which saw four of the nation’s best sprinters line-up for a crack at the winner-takes-all $50,000 prize. Stepping brilliantly from box five, Kayda Shae rolled straight to the early lead and roared away from his opponents in the early stages. Coming off the back and another champion in Dyna Double One began cutting down the margin – but Kayda wasn’t going down without a fight. Swinging for home and the leader kept kicking – tonight was finally his night – with Kayda Shae scoring by just over half a length in 29.33.

Tragically, it was to be the last win for Kayda Shae, with ongoing injury concerns keeping him sidelined for almost sixth months. He returned to the track for one last start in April, finishing fifth in a heat of the Group 2 Warrnambool Cup.

Following the sad announcement of his passing, an abundance of well wishes from the industry have been offered to the Bravo family, and Kayda Shae’s owner, Kim Edgar.

The brilliant greyhound, a son of the Bravo’s former Group 1 star Kilty Lad, was a dream dog for his connections, being Edgar’s first greyhound which she purchased for the humble sum of $1,200.

While he never got the chance to regain his best form or snare an illusive group 1 win, Kayda Shae will be remembered as one of the most consistent and tenacious chasers to have raced in his era.

Thankfully, during his time on the sidelines, he was able to serve a few bitches, with the hope now being that some of his pups will be able to continue their dad’s legacy when they hit the track.