Champion Victorian sprinter Spud Regis has been retired after his emphatic victory in the Group Three Ambrosoli at Wentworth Park on Saturday night. The stunning black powerhouse was a winner of fifteen races from 27 starts including two group one’s and two group three’s with prize money earnings over the $440,000 mark. With the curtain closing on such a tremendous racing career, it is only fitting to pay tribute to a greyhound who has proven to be one of Australia’s best.
Spud Regis is by legendary sire Bombastic Shiraz out of the smart race bitch Phiona: a winner of twelve races and was whelped on the 7th December 2010. The chaser was trained by industry mogul Andrea Dailly and owned by Brian Treloar who named him after former AFL great and St Kilda skipper Danny Frawley.
Spud Regis showed plenty of potential from the start of his career winning ten of his first thirteen track appearances including the 2012 Group 3 SA Derby at Angle Park; however it was his emotional win in The Group One Adelaide Cup that really captured the attention of racing participants and the public as a whole. On the way back to their training property in Anakie (Victoria) after the heats of the feature where Spud Regis was victorious, Co-trainer George Daily was involved in a tragic car accident that claimed the life of fellow heat winner, and Spud Regis’ highly talented litter brother Big Black Mac. The heartbreaking night drew attention Australia wide, and put Spud Regis’ Adelaide Cup start in danger; however after being carefully monitored just one week after the horror crash, the extraordinary racer recorded one of the most sentimental victories in modern racing history, taking out the $75,000 final in a sensational 29.75 seconds for the 515 metre trip.
After his popular victory, Spud Regis’ form tapered off- albeit against the top echelon of Australian sprinters- as he hit a losing streak that lasted an agonising eight runs, however a change of scenery brought back the old Spud Regis, with the enigmatic dog bouncing back to the winners list in the 2013 Perth Cup Consolation at Cannington in February.
Upon his return home to Victoria, Spud Regis continued on his winning way, saluting in the 2013 Group One Australian Cup at The Meadows. Beginning brilliantly from the cherry, the talented campaigner made every post a winner clocking a scintillating 29.63 seconds for the 525 metre trip where he defeated fellow Victorian El Brooklyn by four and a quarter lengths on the line.
This win certainly dispelled any doubts surrounding the chaser and firmly established him as one of the nation’s best. The dual Group one winner made his final interstate venture just a few weeks ago for a stint at the Group One Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park. The speedster made quite an impression in his heat, scoring a dominant victory in a red hot 29.69 seconds, and was very unfortunate not to gain a start in the $250,000 final, running a solid third in his semi-final behind flying Hunter Valley bitch Punch One Out who ran a blinding race and in turn set a new track record of 29.27 seconds for the 520 metre distance.
Spud Regis returned to Wentworth Park last Saturday night and took out the Group Three Ambrosoli in fine style. The race was for those greyhounds that ‘just missed out’ on a chance at the Golden Easter final and carried a winner’s cheque of a lucrative $25,000. Showing his class, the 34 kilogram two year old carved across the field and eventually chased down the Graeme Bate prepared Fully Advanced to take out the race by three and three quarter lengths over roughie Amadeus Strikes in a breathtaking 29.73 seconds. While it would have been a very hard decision for Treloar to retire the powerful and talented chaser whilst he was racing so consistently and injury free, it was fantastic to see him end his career on a high note- with the vast majority of owners and trainers only able to dream of such a departure from the racetrack.
As they say, when one door closes another door opens and this will definitely be the case for Spud Regis; after such a successful racing career he will stand at stud with Tony Lockett, where he should receive a great reception from Australian breeders who will have the chance to tap into a fantastic bloodline.
Being a devoted Spud Regis fan I was honoured to see the champ race with my own eyes last week, and whilst I am personally sad that he will never grace the track again I wish connections all the best in the breeding barn with the ‘Spud’ and hope to one day see his pups emulate the success of their dad on the racetrack.