He traversed up and down the east coast of Australia in search of Group racing glory in 2009, but it was at the Sydney Hilton tonight where the NSW sprinting sensation Take The Kitty covered himself in glory when named the 2009 Betfair NSW Greyhound of the Year.
At a glittering function in front of the sports elite, trainer of Take the Kitty Ken Cheetham acknowledged the win at Wentworth Park in the Group Three Christmas Gift in December last year was the win that most likely resonated with the judges and won him the title.
The basis of Take The Kitty’s nomination was an outstanding record at Wentworth Park which reaped 13 wins from 20 starts including nine sub-30s efforts. Not only was Wentworth Park the venue for his Christmas Gift win but also a second-place finish in the Group One NCA Paws Of Thunder (520m) behind Cindeen Shelby.
Take The Kitty also won the Sprinter of the year award while fellow Betfair Greyhound of the Year nominee Lilley Criminal tied for the Stayer of the Year award with Forty Twenty.
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Chairman Professor Percy Allan AM said the awards symbolised the healthy nature of the sport in NSW.
“I want to thank Betfair for their sponsorship of the Betfair Greyhound of the Year awards and other notable programs which allows the sport to grow and provide participants nights such as this to celebrate,” Professor Allan said.
“Tonight we were able to recognise the best greyhounds in NSW, but also outstanding Trainers, Owners, Breeders, The Youth, Our wonderful Volunteers and the administrators of our clubs that help our sport thrive.”
Sire of the Year was won by Tony Lockett’s Collision while the Brood Bitch of the Year was won for the second year running by Bruce and Julie Fletcher’s Thai Again.
Bruce Fletcher was also on hand to accept the Allen Wheeler Medal for excellence in the sport of greyhound racing in NSW on behalf of his father Percy Fletcher who was unable to attend the awards due to ill health. Bruce was joined by other family members including last year’s Greyhound of the Year winning connections Jill and Warren Harper.
Shoalhaven on the State’s South Coast was named Club of the Year, 84 year old Patty West was awarded Volunteer of the Year and Maitland’s Secretary Manager Kayla Spliet was named Virbac Vetsearch Young Person of the Year.
The full list of awards announced on the night are below.
- Greyhound of the Year – Take The Kitty
- Allan Wheeler Medal – Percy Fletcher
- Trainer of the Year – Rodney McDonald
- Club of the Year – Shoalhaven
- Volunteer of the Year – Patty West
- Virbac Vetsearch Young Person of the Year – Kayla Spliet
- Sprinter of the Year – Take The Kitty
- Stayers of the Year – Forty Twenty & Lilley Criminal
- Run of the Year – Amity Bale (Summer Cup)
- Sire of the Year – Collision
- Brood Bitch of the Year – Thai Again
- Betfair Media Coverage of the Year – Newcastle Herald