High flyer Cindeen Shelby was airborne in the $100,000-to-the-winner invitational Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun (525m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Trained by Kelvyn Greenough of Pearcedale, Cindeen Shelby accounted for a crack speed squadron in notching her 22nd win from 39 starts. Her stakes spiralled to $312,000.
A former postal worker, Greenough ditched the working nine-to-five syndrome in the late 1980s and made a life-changing decision to train greyhounds on a full-time basis.
“It was something I thought I had to do, even though I didn‟t have a failure plan,”
“I just took the punt and was fortunate enough to receive the total support of my wife, Jacqui… I suppose I‟m just one of the lucky ones.”
Greenough said he had another “stroke of luck” when Cindeen Shelby was transferred to his kennel shortly after she finished seventh in last year‟s Topgun.
At the time she was trained near Newcastle by Deen Parkinson and owned by his father, Ray.
“Deen stayed with us for last year’s race, and not long after I received a phone call asking if I was interested in training Cindeen Shelby,” Greenough said.
“The Parkinsons have shown tremendous faith in me and that loyalty is something I‟ll always cherish.”
Cindeen Shelby, inaugural winner Golden Currency (1993) – who dead-heated with Worth Backing – and Wylie Boy (1996) are the only greyhounds to contest back-to-back Topguns and win the race. In all, only nine greyhounds have competed in successive Topguns.
“I know it sounds strange, but Cindeen Shelby is a greyhound that „talks to you‟,” Greenough said.
“She‟s extremely intelligent and wants all the attention… She‟s just a lovable greyhound.”
Cindeen Shelby is only the second female greyhound to claim the Topgun in its 17-year history.
She emulated the feat of New South Wales speed queen Mint Magic in 1999.
“It‟s very difficult, in terms of sheer physicality, for a female to compete with the males in these big races,” Greenough said.
“But she gives as much „pushing and shoving‟ as she receives at this level.”
Cindeen Shelby ($3.60) defeated Australian Cup hero Velocette ($3.20F) by one and a half lengths, with National Sprint Championship runner-up Dyna Lachlan ($5.00) a neck away third in 29.75sec. Then followed: High Earner ($15.10) and Dashing Corsair ($32.50), both from Queensland, Turanza Bale ($12.10), and Take The Kitty ($11.60) and Cosmic Rumble ($7.70), both from New South Wales.
The Topgun jinx for Lara training genius Graeme Bate continued with Velocette and Turanza Bale. Greyhound racing‟s cups king, Bate is yet to taste Topgun glory – albeit he has had 10 runners in eight Topguns.
Cindeen Shelby will now be set for next month‟s Superdogs Series at Sandown Park.
She will contest the Group 1 Crown Classic series (winner $50,000) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup series (winner $175,000).
Cindeen Shelby is Red Fawn Bitch whelped August ’06 she is by Bombastic Shiraz from Proper Shelby (Royal Assassin x Proper Angel). She is raced by Ray Parkinson and trained by Kelvyn Greenough the Group 1 Top Gun win took her record to 40 starts for 23 wins and nine placings and prizemoney earnings of $312,050.
Listed below are the past Top Gun winners since the race commended in 1993.
The Topgun Honour Roll
Group 1 Topgun Full Honour Roll
- 1993 Dead heat Worth Backing (VIC) / Golden Currency (VIC) Carl Haas / Kevin Mugavin Jnr 30.56 Sandown Park
- 1994 New Fox (NSW) Dennis Reid 29.98 Olympic Park
- 1995 Rapid Hiker (VIC) Philip Newman 29.80 Sandown Park
- 1996 Wylie Boy (VIC) George Rose 30.09 Sandown Park
- 1997 Chicago Blue (VIC) Brian Furness 30.00 Sandown Park
- 1998 Rapid Journey (NSW) Jane Carruthers 29.85 Sandown Park
- 1999 Mint Magic (NSW) Ray Watson 29.97 Meadows
- 2000 Placard (NSW) Ruth King 29.92 Sandown Park
- 2001 No Intent (VIC) Jason Thompson 30.17 Meadows
- 2002 Lindale Blue (WA) Colin Bainbridge 29.76 Sandown Park
- 2003 Bombastic Shiraz (VIC) Darren Cairns 30.06 Meadows
- 2004 Whisky Assassin (VIC) Jason Thompson 29.40 Sandown Park
- 2005 Black Enforcer (QLD) Tony Brett 30.02 Meadows
- 2006 Jaimandy Coops (VIC) Paul Donohue 29.60 Sandown Park
- 2007 Meticulous (VIC) Mario Briganti 29.88 Meadows
- 2008 El Galo (VIC) Jason Thompson 29.75 Meadows – Disqualified (positiev swab) – Runner Up Regal Thyme (VIC) – Graham Long named winner
- 2009 Cindeen Shelby (VIC) Kelvyn Greenough 29.75 Meadows