Kayla’s Tiger, the little pup that survived parvovirus, gave her trainer Len Haaring one of his most meaningful and emotional wins on Monday afternoon when she triumphed in the Silver Maiden Final at Coonamble. As detailed by Australian Racing Greyhound before the race, Kayla’s Tiger was bred by Mudgee trainer Robert Milne and was his pick of the litter before he tragically passed away last year. Haaring, a close friend of Milne, reared and races the surviving six members of the litter, with Kayla’s Tiger fittingly owned by Milne’s son Darryl.
After a poor beginning in her heat on Saturday, Kayla’s Tiger still managed to qualify for the consolation event in the fastest time courtesy of a 17.57s performance when running second to Midnight Rhythm. Going into the final, Haaring was hoping for success but remained apprehensive.
“We didn’t think she was going to do it actually. I was hoping that she would jump a little bit better than what she did the other day but she actually jumped worse- she jumped last. She gathered speed very quickly and she got herself just into second going into the first corner and then the dogs that were on the outside of her squeezed her out a bit and she got checked back to about fourth or fifth. But, within a twinkling of an eye, she got going again and she lobbed back into second. She was chasing the leader and halfway down the home straight she snuck inside it and won by a length and a half. It was good”.
“We were very happy. It couldn’t have been better. It was probably fitting in a way that she had to do it tough in the end because everything has been tough for her. She ran a pretty good time (17.62s) considering”.
“She was always going to be a bit of a chance. She had the speed, all she needed was a little bit of luck to get through the field, and I think she just made her own luck”.
Haaring said after the race that it was a very emotional win for all involved. The Cooks Gap based trainer believes that Milne would have been cheering and still had a part to play in the outcome of the race.
“We were all crying…It gave us the opportunity to say a few words at the track. I had a little bit of trouble at one stage, but I got through it pretty well”.
“Bob would have been out of control. He would have been very happy and he would have been telling everybody that he won, I think everyone in the place would have known that he won”.
“I’m sure he helped her because when she copped a check she just seemed to find another hole to come through. We were really worried, especially when she got the knock on the corner. It just happened very quickly”.
The next step for Kayla’s Tiger and her littermates looks to be yet another field trip- this time to the Hunter Valley
“I have been trying to decide between going back to Dubbo where all of the pups have been going, or going somewhere new and I think I am now leaning towards going somewhere new, probably Maitland. There is the Future Stars there and I had one that I had to scratch from the Coonamble series that might just be ready in time for that and a couple didn’t do so well at the Carnival. I will probably give Kayla’s Tiger a couple of looks while I’m up there”.
With plenty of potential, a stack of support and some guidance from above, it appears that Haaring is set for a successful stint on the racetrack with this very exciting young litter.