GROUP 1 Melbourne Cup place-getter Kouta Mayhem (Fabregas x Belle’s Melody Mar ’15) may be the $31 outsider for this Saturday’s Group 1 Temlee (525m) at The Meadows, but owner Andrew Lazos says he won’t stop dreaming.
The black dog has performed well at the highest level throughout his career, making the finals of the Melbourne Cup, the Group 2 Warragul Cup, the Group 1 Hobart Thousand, the Group 2 Bendigo Cup, the Group 2 Ballarat Cup and the Group 3 Healesville Cup.
Trained by Jason and Jessica Sharp, the speedster’s career highlight came last November when he finished third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup behind Aston Dee Bee and Chasin’ Crackers.
Lazos, who bred Kouta Mayhem on a pup deal, said he is thrilled to be in the final against the eight best dogs in the country.
“To get the invite was one thing, but to actually make the field is surreal – I can’t believe it,” Lazos told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“We are over the moon to be there – it’s his seventh group event so he is a very consistent dog, he has been the bridesmaid plenty of times.
“It is a very hard race this week, but he is in there so who knows what could happen.”
Kouta Mayhem has won 17 races from 34 starts with three seconds and four thirds with $137,000 in prize money earnings. He heads into the $100,000 to the winner final fresh, having not started since February 3 when finishing third over the 525m trip at The Meadows.
Lazos concedes his runner will need a few things to go his way after a few setbacks, but still gives him some chance of landing the prize.
“I think we would have liked him to have another 500 or two going into the race, just to strengthen him up a bit, but he can run it out – he just isn’t super strong like dogs such as Aston Dee Bee.
“He does have a lot of early pace though, so hopefully he can find the front and hold on.”
Also making the feature are dual group 1 winners Striker Light and Raw Ability, while Slick will also line up from box three as the first reserve follow-ing the scratching of fellow Queenslander Fast Times.
Lazos said it is hard to predict who will win the race and commented box six may not be as bad as it appears for Kouta Mayhem.
“They can all jump and run, they are all super quick – so it just comes down to luck on the night.
“The box doesn’t look good on paper, but if he can come out well from out wide hopefully he can avoid early trouble and if there is a mix up on the inside you never know.”
Lazos, who owns Kouta Mayhem with his son Arthur, said winning the Temlee would be an amazing thrill.
“I couldn’t even explain what it would be like to win – I felt like crying when he ran third in the Melbourne Cup so I don’t know what I’d do if he happened to win.
“I am not going into the race expecting anything, as I said I am just happy to be in there, but it would be an absolute dream come true if he could win.”
The Group 1 Temlee will be run and won at The Meadows this Saturday night.