Vale Vapour Whirl

I'm sure all greyhound followers will feel both a tinge of sadness and nostalgia when they hear the once mighty Vapour Whirl passed away this week.

Many greyhound fans will recall the deeds of the black flash with a great deal of affection, as he captured the hearts and minds of greyhound devotees with his dazzling feats of speed and determination in a star studded career that took him and his connections to the pinnacle of our sport.

Raced by the affable Tim Winter and trained by Cameron Taylor and Darren Murray, the black chaser was whelped in May 2003 and came from a litter which consisted of two dogs and three bitches. Bred by Stephen McKenna, the litter was sired by Ashigga, who won the 1998 , out of a bitch called Broad Band, who had not been able to win a maiden, despite having nineteen race starts. While Broad Band had not excelled as a race track performer, she lacked nothing in the breeding department, being a full litter sister to 2002 Silver Chief winner Jimmy Neutron.

In fact her Dam, Reeba Honcho, had been a terrific producer, leaving not only Jimmy Neutron, but other topline dogs, including prolific metropolitan winners Cash Up and Katie Current.

Vapour Whirl made his race track debut at the Meadows on June 29, 2005, and ran second at a short quote in the heats of the Victorian Breeders Stakes.  He registered his first win at Geelong over the 457 metre course in a quick 25.71 seconds and proceeded to win his next four starts in some quick times around the provincial tracks, including a brilliant 27.13 seconds run at Horsham over the 480 metres, at just his sixth outing, exhibiting his remarkable talent.

Although he had been placed in a Cup final behind early in January 2006, it wasn't until a few weeks later when Vapour Whirl really hit the big time, taking out the over 424 metres in a superb 23.79 seconds. His form was so exceptional that he was invited to compete in the 2006 at The Meadows the following month, where he finished a respectable fifth behind such great chasers as Closing Argument and .

The career highlights continued to flow for Vapour Whirl at an incredible rate, taking out the 2006 and finishing a credible fifth in the 2006 Top Gun behind the flying Jaimandy Coops. He also won the 2007 , the race he had finished third the year prior and finished runner up in his defence of the Warragul Cup.

Vapour Whirl retired after breaking a metatarsal in his second crack at the Temlee at The Meadows in February 2007.  His overall record at the time of his retirement stood at 63 Starts for 33 wins, 16 seconds and 5 thirds, with stake money earnings over $140,000.

In those 33 victories, Vapour Whirl recorded some incredible times, including a 30.02 for the 520 metres at Cranbourne and a super 29.70 second run at The Meadows. He broke the magical 25.00 second barrier twice at over the 450 metres and had a PB of 25.38 at Geelong over the 457 metre journey.

While Vapour Whirl was known for being primarily a sprinter, his only litter brother, Rocky, excelled over the long distances. Rocky's exploits over the long trips saw him labelled an iron dog for his chase and consistency, facing the starter on 105 occasions for 25 wins and 41 placings with stakes over the $200,000 mark. He was adored by many punters and greyhound followers.

At stud, Vapour Whirl was considered a bread and butter sire, who, without setting the world alight, continued to produce some very fast greyhounds.

Some of his better known progeny include Proven Jett, a finalist in the 2010 Golden Easter Egg, Gazmick Storm, Silver Spider and Vapour Ash to name a few.

The sport of greyhound racing is all the poorer for the loss of this wonderful chaser. Vale Vapour Whirl, a true champion.

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