Amongst the racing, punting, heat and alcohol that is the Coonamble Racing Carnival, emerged a touching story over the weekend.
Cooks Gap trainer Len Haaring has two runners engaged in the final meeting tomorrow afternoon and is hoping that one in particular can go close to the prize. Haaring trains the talented Kayla’s Tiger that earned herself a spot in the Silver Maiden Final when running second to Midnight Rhythm in her heat on Saturday. The brindle bitch by El Grand Senor out of Kayla Enlim was bred by Mudgee mentor Bob Milne who sadly passed away just over a year ago.
“Bob was a friend of mine that I have known for years in the greyhounds and he bred the Kayla Enlim litter. This is the first litter that she has had”, Haaring explained.
“Kayla won about fifteen or sixteen races. She won over 300, 400, 500 and 600. She was a very versatile bitch. She was looking like being greyhound of the year at Bathurst until she broke down in the middle of the year. She was miles ahead in the greyhound of the year at the time and it took them until about October to catch up to her”.
“She took quite a few years to come on season. Bob was waiting very patiently for this particular litter. He had ones with Natalie Enlim and Chloe Milne but he just wanted really badly to get a litter out of Kayla. Eventually it came true”.
Once he had his much anticipated litter on the ground, Milne had to fight to ensure that they survived. Tragically when the pups were just seven weeks old they contracted the dreaded parvovirus.
“He had two litters at the time, one out of Chloe Milne and the one out Kayla. He had 21 pups all up- 12 out of one litter and nine out of the other litter- and unfortunately 15 of them had to be put down. There were only six survivors”
“Bob was pretty distraught about the whole thing. It was initially Chloe’s pups- they all went and he was very upset about that. He had the two litters at once and Chloe’s litter all had it but Kayla’s litter were showing no signs of it. Then all of a sudden after the Chloe ones went, the Kayla ones started showing symptoms and the next thing you know they started to go. It just destroyed him”
“I went down there and we discussed the six remaining pups and he said that the vet reckoned that we could save a few of them but it was going to cost at least $1000, probably $1200 a pup to do it”
“I mentioned that I was looking for another pup for one of my pups at home who was his own. I told him I was prepared to put some money in to try and save a couple and Bob wanted to do that, so we talked his son Darryl into saving two as well”.
Remarkably, all six pups defied the odds by surviving. The littermates were then transferred to Haaring’s property to be reared. Just as things were starting to get back on track came the sudden passing of Milne in September last year.
“He loved his greyhounds and I guess ultimately because of his love for the greyhounds that’s why he died. He checked himself out of hospital too early when he went in there with heart problems, because he had to go look after his greyhounds. Instead of ringing someone up to go feed them for him he decided ‘no I’m going home’ when they hadn’t finished testing him and he passed away that night”, Haaring recalled.
After Milne’s sad passing, Haaring continued on with the youngsters, along with Milne’s son Darryl. Haaring now trains all six chasers with Kayla’s Tiger upstaging her littermates on Saturday when running the fastest second and third fastest overall time to qualify for the final. Fittingly, the 28 kilogram bitch was Milne’s pick of the litter.
“Bob always wanted a brindle pup that looked like Kayla and she is the one that made it into the Silver final”.
“I think he would be out of this world, I don’t think you would be able to hold him down he would be that excited”.
Kayla’s Tiger will have to contend with an awkward draw in box four tomorrow afternoon when she contests her second race start. Although it is not ideal, Haaring believes she can overcome the draw if she begins well.
“I’m apprehensive but confident. I’m confident but she has been beginning a bit ordinary. She has got some awesome speed about her so if she gets a clear run she will win but she has to get one”.
“I don’t think any box would be a worry as long as she gets a clear run, she has just got to find her way through them. She has gone quicker than what she went in the heats”.
Although it would have been a fairy tale ending for Haaring to take out the Gold final, with a little bit of luck and perhaps a touch of guidance from up above, Kayla’s Tiger might be able to star in the Silver final.
Also in the final meeting tomorrow afternoon is Bandit’s Moo who is contesting the www.australianracinggreyhound.com Best 8 Final over 530 metres. The heats saw some speedy competitors vie for their spot in the $2000 final with Bandit’s Moo coming up with box two after finishing fourth behind Apollo Ohno. The daughter of Velocette and Bandit Milne has won over the track and distance but will have to put her best paws forward tomorrow.
“Bandit’s Moo is one of Darryl’s dogs. She has never delivered but she has got ability, she just always seems to be able to find trouble. It doesn’t matter what box she has, she always finds another dog to mix up with. The race will be tough for her although she does have a good box in box two. It is going to be hard for her to win but she is in it. You never know, there might be a bit of trouble happening around her rather than her causing the trouble”, Haaring laughed.
Both finals are during the third of three meetings held tomorrow. Australian Racing Greyhound is also sponsoring a consolation race (race five) before the Best 8 final (race six). The Gold, Silver and Bronze finals will be races eight, nine and 10 respectively.