Mogambo Completes The Comeback

Freakish talent Mogambo (named after a thoroughbred that received its racing moniker from a 1953 movie starring Clark Gable) was ‘gone with the wind’ at Ballarat last Wednesday night.

The sport’s latest box office hit, Mogambo played the lead role with a breathtaking track record breaking performance over 550 metres.

Quite frankly, Gable wouldn’t have ‘given a damn’ but Mogambo received rave reviews from greyhound racing critics following his outstanding 30.64sec display.

Prepared by Jamie Ennis of Lara, Mogambo smashed the previous mark, set by the Jason Thompson-trained Clair Maude (30.88sec) on April 16 this year.

The normally reticent Ennis was effusive in his praise of Mogambo who notched his ninth win from 19 starts. His stakes total $26,690.

“I thought ‘track record’ straight away when he came out of the boxes,” Ennis said. “He has so much raw ability, and is now starting to put it all together.”

Ennis added he was “more relieved than happy” with the effort of Mogambo who slashed five and half lengths off his 30.97sec win only six days earlier at the track.

“He needs a bit of room to move but has been hindered by bad box draws,” Ennis said. “But lately he has been full of confidence.”

Mogambo will now be programmed towards the forthcoming Group 1 National Sprint Championship series prior to being stepped up in distance.

Already the sport’s soothsayers are predicting Mogambo will become a staying superstar.

Ennis was reserved on such prophecies except to say “if he can stay, it’s scary to think what times he could run.”

Mogambo is bred on stout maternal staying lines as his dam, Zarbo (named after Gabriella Szabo, the Romanian ‘distance darling’ of the 2000 Sydney Olympics), won 12 races from 22 starts – including the 2005 Group 3 AWM Distance Championship.

Owned and bred by Seamus Sutcliffe of Tynong North, Mogambo is the namesake of a New Zealand thoroughbred who died in tragic circumstances in the 1960s. The equine was trained by Sutcliffe’s father-in-law, Merv Mawer.

Mogambo was initially spotted on the racing radar during last November’s Group 2 Great Chase series – a community-conscious event supporting organisations catering for the intellectually and physically disabled.

Shannon Park Industries, a division of Scope based in Geelong, was aligned to Mogambo in the Great Chase.

Mogambo, who finished fifth in the Great Chase grand final, won the organisation $650, thus helping to fund its Christmas break-up.

Then earlier this year the benevolent Sutcliffe stated he would donate $1000 to Shannon Park Industries if Mogambo broke 25.50sec in a 457-metre trial at Geelong.

He decided on the charitable gesture, aware that the organisation’s disabled employees had continued to follow the fortunes of Mogambo.

And their canine pin-up duly obliged in 25.28sec. Subsequently Sutcliffe’s donation was put towards its social club.

A sheer natural, Mogambo also clocked a stunning 29.76sec over 525 metres at The Meadows on December 15 last year – around two and a half lengths off Big Daddy Cool’s 29.62sec track record.

And he semaphored a scintillating 24.89sec over 450 metres at Ballarat on June 18 this year – around one and a half lengths off Whisky Assassin’s 24.81sec track record.

Only five greyhounds have gone under the magical 31-second barrier over 550-metres at Ballarat. They are, in chronological order:

  • Awesome Assassin (30.98sec) – 30.08.98 – Jason Thompson
  • Dax (30.89sec ) – 27.04.05 – Dudley Lowndes
  • Proven Alias (30.92sec) – 27.02.08 – Jason Thompson
  • Clair Maude (30.88sec ) – 16.04.08 – Jason Thompson
  • Mogambo (30.97sec) – 17.07.08 – Jamie Ennis
  • Mogambo (30.64sec) – 23.07.08 – Jamie Ennis