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