To have a greyhound that is good enough to be able to compete in a group race final is a worthy accomplishment for any owner or trainer, but to have three runners engaged in the same group final is nothing short of brilliant. This week legendary owners Chris Nutt and Shaun Evans will have three of their charges starting in the Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic Final under the names of three of Australia’s most illustrious trainers, with the race carrying sentimental value for the men who bred the highly talented siblings from their prolific producer Paris St Germain.
The first of Nutt & Evans terrific trio to make the final was the Graeme Bate prepared Luxurious, with the daughter of Collision spearing the lids from box five in her semi-final and proving too strong for Jeff Crawford’s fast finishing Kentucky Grove, taking out the event by a neck on the line in a nippy 30.19 seconds. The black bitch is shaping up to be a promising sprinter winning eleven of her 29 starts with a further eleven minors to her name however she has been awarded no favours in the final drawing awkwardly in box four.
The second runner into the decider for the Nutt & Evans team is the exceedingly consistent Disco Dave who comes from the powerful Andrea Dailly camp. Disco Dave qualified when running second behind the well-bred performer Double Twist for Nowra Hill’s Garry Edwards. Disco Dave began well from box three in his semi-final and showed tremendous field sense, darting underneath rails runner Ronray Miss on the first turn, to take up the lead, however he was not able to hold out Double Twist who landed himself in a prime position down the back and was able to swoop on the leaders in the home straight to claim victory by three quarters of a length in a fast 30.04 seconds.
The dynamic duo’s last runner in this Sunday’s feature, Miss Kiss took out the third and final semi for Tasmanian conditioner Debbie Cannan. The pint sized performer who started her career in Victoria but has been racing in Tassie of late, scored a dominant triumph, leading from box rise in a handy 30.34 seconds over Vindictive who was one and a quarter lengths away in second for Frances Harris. Miss Kiss who has won three races from fourteen starts has also drawn awkwardly, coming up with box five on the outside of her litter sister Luxurious.
Nutt admits that the draw may be problematic for the speedy sisters with Luxurious developing the tendency to dart right at box rise, with Miss Kiss generally seeking the rails when the lids fly open. With this in mind Nutt favours Disco Dave from out wide in box seven out of his three runners with the blue brindle chaser also capable of pinging the lids and running a cheeky race however it will be a hard final for the trio with early favourite Double Twist allocated the prized cherry alley.
Win, lose or draw, the three speedsters are very special to Nutt & Evans, as they are part of the last cohort of pups to hit the track from their dam Paris St Germain who tragically passed away just last month. Paris St Germain was purchased by the two friends as a way of keeping in contact when Evans was moving away, however they never imagined how far the unraced daughter of Bright Ebony and Gold Serenade would take them within the greyhound racing industry.
Paris St Germain came on season just shy of her second birthday and was mated to sensational sire Lochinvar Jet. This was a decision which would change their lives with ‘Paris’ throwing her first group winning pup in Nitro Nori amongst a litter full of exceptional racers. Nitro Nori had 56 starts on the racetrack for twenty wins and eighteen placings including consecutive wins in the Group 3 Bulli Cyril Rowe memorial, whilst he also took out the Perth Cup Consolation and was a finalist in The Group One National Sprint Championship, and the Traralgon and Shepparton Cup’s.
The success didn’t end there, in her next litter to Go Wild Teddy, ‘Paris’ threw multiple city winner and group finalist Uncle Bully as well as the sensational performers Jai Alation, Slick Rick and Wild St. Teddy. After this second successful round in the breeding barn, she was put to the great Surf Lorian with this mating producing potentially her best pup yet in St. Pierre.
Nutt laments that St. Pierre will, “Always hold a special place in our heart as our first group one winner’, after the brilliant blue brindle chaser took out the Group One Australian Cup defeating the likes of High Earner whilst he also notched up a Group Three win in the St Ledger at Unibet Gardens and the 2011 Devonport Cup.
From her next two litters to Where’s Pedro and Velocette respectively, Paris produced some more top quality pups, most notably in Katsidis, Mojito, Double Whammy, Nine Darter, Larocco, Emilia Jade, Parisette and Streetbike Tommy, who was sadly lost on the race track during the Golden Easter Egg series after fracturing a hock. After these two litters, Paris whelped a healthy litter to Collision in 2011 and just a few weeks before passing away a single pup to Barcia Bale who unfortunately did not survive.
With her last litter to Collision now on the ground and racing in fine style, it would be fitting for one of these youngsters to emulate the success of their older siblings and take out a big race as a means of continuing the ‘family tradition’. Despite the glory of group one racing and the hefty winner’s cheques that accompany the rugs and trophies, it is fair to say that a win this week would be one of most sentimental victories Nutt and Evans could hope for given the recent loss of not only Paris St Germain but also her promising son Streetbike Tommy.
“Paris was a one in a million broodbitch, if it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t still be in the game”.
“It’s a big achievement to have three in the race and we are just really wrapped for Paris”, Nutt said.
“We are just hoping that the stars can align for us but as long as they come back in one piece we will be happy.”
Paris St Germain will always be a special part of Chris Nutt’s and Shaun Evan’s family – she has helped to put them on the industry scene with the pair now established as two of Australia’s premier greyhound breeders and owners, whilst her progeny are still going strong and will inevitably throw a few fast pup themselves in the future.
The Nowra Summer Puppy Classic is the highlight of the Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Club’s calendar with the $25,000 event to be run this Sunday. In an open race with nearly all runners engaged in the event capable of taking it out it is very hard to find a winner.
One thing that is for sure, if Chris Nutt and Shaun Evans can claim the event with one of their trio, there will be a few tears shed on course for the hardworking owners and the amazing little bitch that made it all possible, and who was described to me as their “Princess”