Grey­hound of Year named

The Press - - Sport-Racing - JAMIE SEARLE

In the past 16 months, train­ers Dave and Jean Fa­hey have changed Amer­i­can War­rior from be­ing a non-chaser to New Zealand Grey­hound of the Year.

The Fa­heys, of Bal­cairn in North Can­ter­bury, re­ceived the coveted tro­phy on be­half of Amer­i­can War­rior’s two Syd­ney own­ers at the na­tional grey­hound awards in In­ver­cargill on Saturday night.

Top­ping the list of Amer­i­can War­rior’s 25 wins last sea­son was the $100,000 New Zealand Cup in Christchurch.

He is build­ing up for an­other crack at the cup in Novem­ber.

Amer­i­can War­rior was twice stood down from racing in Vic­to­ria, Aus­tralia, for be­ing a non­chaser.

A non-chaser is a grey­hound who does not con­cen­trate and run strongly af­ter the lure.

‘‘We did hes­i­tate a bit about tak­ing him be­cause we knew if he did it again, he’d be out [stood down] for a year’’ Dave Fa­hey said.

A lot of Aus­tralian tracks have catch­ing pens which grey­hounds go into af­ter the fin­ish line and the lure goes out of sight.

There are no catch­ing pens in New Zealand, and grey­hounds fin­ish on the lure. Some get their muz­zle caught on the lure.

Be­ing able to fin­ish on the lure had made Amer­i­can War­rior con­cen­trate and be more com­pet­i­tive in his races.

The Fa­heys took over train­ing Amer­i­can War­rior in June last year and waited two or three months be­fore racing him. ‘‘He’s got a lovely at­ti­tude. He’s not the quick­est out [of the boxes] but has bril­liant ac­cel­er­a­tion,’’ Dave said.

PHOTO: JOSEPH JOHN­SON/STUFF

Amer­i­can War­rior, shown here win­ning the New Zealand Cup last year, is the grey­hound of the year.

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