The race for the Queensland Greyhound of the Year has heated up with the announcement of four finalists for the prestigious prize.
The selection panel, which consists of Greyhounds Queensland Limited, the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club and racing media (Australian Racing Greyhound did not have a representative on the panel), usually picks three finalists, but found it to hard to stand them out and has named four.
The finalists are Knocka Norris, Made to Size, Queen Lauryn and Size Can Matter.
Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club general manager Luke Gatehouse said the competition hadn’t been this close in five years.
“In 2003 Elite State won out of four fantastic dogs, and we have not seen the competition so close since,” said Mr Gatehouse.
“These four are some of the fastest greyhounds in Australia, which is a true testament to how well the industry in Queensland is going.”
In a Queensland Greyhound racing first, three of the four finalists come from the Reg Kay kennels in Knocka Norris, Made To Size and Size Can Matter.
Knocka Norris has had 14 wins from 22 starts and has broken the blistering 30-second barrier three times this year at Albion Park and now holds three track records.
Unfortunately, Knocka Norris’ racing career was cut short last October, after injuring himself preparing for the Top Gun in Victoria.
Made To Size was another of the top greyhounds retired this year with 12 wins from 25 starts, including four of them under 30-seconds at Albion Park. He currently holds the track record for the Albion Park 520m of 29.57 seconds.
Size Can Matter’s dominance in Australia and New Zealand has seen the word of Queensland greyhound racing spread cross the Tasman, winning $250,000 Platinum Paws in Christchurch last year.
Size Can Matter has had a consistent year of racing and has had 17 wins from 34 starts.
Australia’s best bitch Queen Lauryn, trained by Tony Brett, and owned by Queensland racing identity Steve Hawkins, is the only female greyhound of the four.
Queen Lauryn has scored 12 wins from 22 starts, including the prestigious Group One Sapphire Crown at Sandown Park, Victoria in October. She also holds the track record at Sydney’s Wentworth Park track over 520m.
Eight dogs were considered, the four finalists, as well as Black Ruler, Elite Oriental, Miss Hot Gossip and Nicely Done.
The Queensland Greyhound of the Year Award will be presented at a gala event at the Sofitel Hotel Brisbane, Grand Ball Room on Saturday 28th February 2009.
2008 Queensland Greyhound Of The Year Finalists
- (Elite State-Oriental Angel)
- Owner-trainer: Reg Kay
- Winner: Group 1 National Sprint (Wentworth Park), Qld final National Sprint (Albion Park)
- Track Records: Maitland, The Gardens, Warrnambool
- Finalist: Young Guns (Gardens), Publicans Cup (Albion Park), Group 2 Warrnambool Cup, Group 2 WA Derby
Made To Size
- (Surf Lorian-Queen Size)
- Owners: Julie Edmondson, Richard Eaton-Wells
- Trainer: Reg Kay
- Winner: Group 1 Winter Carnival Cup (Albion Park), Group 2 Perth Cup Consolation
- Third: Group 3 Sandown Shootout
- Track Records Albion Park (twice)
- Finalist: Group 1 Melbourne Cup (Sandown), Group 1 Brisbane Cup (Albion Park)
- (Token Prince-Cheeky Sprite)
- Owners: Hawkins Family Syndicate
- Trainer: Tony Brett
- Winner: Group 1 Sapphire Crown (Sandown), Group 2 Qld Futurity (Albion Park)
- Second: Group 2 Ladies Bracelet (Wentworth Park), Group 3 Sandown Shootout
- Third: Group 1 Winter Carnival Cup (Albion Park)
- Track Records: at Wentworth Park and Ipswich
- Finalist: Group 1 Topgun (Meadows)
Size Can Matter
- (Elite State-Queen Size)
- Owner: Julie Edmondson
- Trainers: Reg Kay, Jack Irwin
- Winner: Group 1 Perth Cup, Group 1 Platinum Paws (Christchurch), Group 2 Qld Derby (Albion Park), Summer Cup (Albion Park)
- Second: Group 1 New Zealand Cup, Publicans Cup (Albion Park)
- Third: Group 1 National Derby (Wentworth Park), Group 2 WA Derby
- Finalist: Group 1 Winter Carnival Cup (Albion Park)