Even when a good dog does come along there is still a myriad of decisions that can impact the results and potential a greyhound might reach.
Queensland breeder, owner and trainer Renald Attard made the important decision to send his kennel star Frosty Jay Jay to Victorian mentor Kel Greenough for a tilt at group glory and some of the riches that the southern state has to offer.
It was a move that paid dividends when the son of Knocka Norris and Slick Hannah (Lindale Blue – Montana Sky) took out the Group 2 Healesville Cup last Sunday in track-record time. Attard says it is the highlight of his time in greyhounds.
“It’s just a really big thrill. I bred it, reared it, broke it in, did everything,” said Attard.
“I’ve had placings in derby’s up here in Queensland with other dogs but that is my first group winner.”
Attard’s decision to send Frosty Jay Jay to Victoria was made after what was probably his best career run in Queensland and he says he knew the dog had a track-record run in him.
“When he won the Publican’s Cup up here he equalled Flying Amy and Surf Lorian’s track record, he went 29.73 and he won by about ten lengths, that’s when I decided to send him straight down to Kel.”
But Attard admits he didn’t know too much about Greenough before he sent the dog on the long journey south to Victoria.
“I really didn’t know Kel or much about him. I just saw him on Sky Channel and he always seemed to have a good dog. People told me he was one of the best trainers down there.”
Frosty Jay Jay and Attard also share the same birthday and he says that the dog showed a lot of promise from very early on in his career.
“Frosty was born on my birthday, the 21st of June. When he started trialling as we broke him in, I kept saying this can’t be right, his times for a 14-month-old dog can’t be right. He was running records at that age.”
“Then I had all these offers for him, to buy him before he started racing, they went up to fifty grand. I kept saying no, I’m in the game to get a good dog.”
For now, it is a hit-and-run Victorian mission for Frosty Jay Jay and it won’t be too long before he returns to Attard’s kennels.
“The plan is for Kel to keep him for the Horsham Cup, then he will come back home to me, probably in the middle of March. After that, I will take him down to Sydney and get him used to Wentworth Park so I can have a go at the Golden Easter Egg.”
Frosty Jay Jay has now won 17 of his 43 career starts and is only one win away from eclipsing $100,000 in prize-money. Attard has also planned ahead in case his white and fawn chasers success should continue.
“I’ve got some straws from him up at the vet. I haven’t advertised yet, I was waiting for him to win a good race down there. There’s a bitch going to him today, the phone started ringing straight after the race.”
“People were saying when he goes to stud I want to use him, I said I’ve got straws now, so they used them. I hadn’t told anybody, I just kept it to myself. I mainly got them in case he got badly injured down there or something like that, you just never know.”
“He’s a beautiful looking dog, he was up around 38kg there yesterday, he’s a big boy. He’s nearly all white, there’s hardly any fawn on him, just a couple of spots around his ears.”
Trainer Kel Greenough couldn’t have been happier for Attard and said the win topped off a great day.
“It was good for Frosty Jay Jay to win for the connections because they sent him down to Victoria hoping that he would actually achieve something like this. It is pretty hard in Queensland where they don’t have as many group-races on as we do, so fortunately it all came through for them,” Greenough said.
“We are pretty happy we won the race, I had my family there which was even better, my children and my grandchildren were there. It was a good day for all, even though it was a bit hot, it worked out good.”
Greenough snared the quinella in the race with Paw Licking finishing second, just three-quarters of a length behind the winner. It was a just another success to go with the Group Two win and the track record. He says that it was Frosty Jay Jay’s ability to adapt to the straight track that helped him land the $43,750 to-the-winner event.
“I think it could have gone either way. If Paw Licking had of began a bit better it might of been very, very close.
“I knew it was going to be a close finish, Frosty Jay Jay actually began really well compared to usual, he’s normally not a good beginner. Once he put himself in the picture, he was always going to be hard to beat.
“I think it is just that change of lure run-up at Healesville, they go from the seven seconds on the circle to two seconds up the straight. It takes a few runs to adapt to it, I was hoping Paw Licking might of worked it out by race-day, but he didn’t and Frosty Jay Jay did. I guess that extra half-length or so that he got at the start was crucial at the finish.”
Greenough said the time was no surprise to him given that he knows what the dog is capable of and the fact that the conditions were conducive to quick times on the day.
“The Vic Breeders was won in a very quick time earlier in the day, so I thought the Cup winner would go close to running the track record, I just hoped that it was one of my dogs that did it.”
Greenough will aim for more group racing success with both Frosty Jay Jay and Paw Licking.
“He will go into the Australian Cup heats now and it is off to the Temlee for Paw Licking.”
While it is a little hard to speculate the chances of Frosty Jay Jay until the fields for the Australian Cup are finalised, he says Paw Licking faces a stern test in this weekends Temlee, despite drawing the coveted box one.
“It’ll be a bit hard to step him up to 525 metres on the circle in a week, after running 350 metres in a straight line. I probably would have liked a bit more time but you’ve got to take the races when they are on, if you get selected, you have a crack. It’s not ideal, I’d probably have liked another two weeks to be honest, but I can’t change the calendar.
“I knew that going in the Healesville Cup wasn’t the ideal preparation leading into the Temlee but he is probably a better 450 metre dog than he is a 500 metre dog and, while he didn’t win the Cup, he certainly didn’t disgrace himself. I just love the dog, he keeps putting himself in the picture with his hard chasing and he has a real good crack at it.”
There is every chance that the names Frosty Jay Jay and Paw Licking will be very prominent throughout group-racing events in 2014.