New Zealand greyhound Know Class looms as one of the wildcards ahead of the world’s richest staying race – the Group 1 RSN Sandown Cup (715m).
A veteran of 90 race starts and 20 wins in his home country, Know Class arrived in Australia just a few weeks ago to be trained by James Shaw, a Kiwi who has spent the past 10 months working as a kennelhand with successful Victorian training duo Angela Langton and Jeff Britton at Anakie.
In his first two starts for Shaw, Know Class (Oct ’10 Willy What – Blue Fern) ran second and fifth over 595m at Sandown, before stepping up to the 715m at that track last Thursday night and winning in the impressive time of 42.20sec.
Despite his considerable racetrack experience, Know Class is a newcomer to staying ranks, Shaw explained.
“He is a real iron dog. He split his webbing once, but that’s the only real injury he’s had so far.”
“He’s been a group class sprinter virtually all his life, winning a Group 1 over 500m in New Zealand.”
“He’s a real iron dog. He has had more than 90 starts and he split his webbing once, but that’s the only real injury he’s had so far” – JAMES SHAW ON KNOW CLASS
“It was only in his last couple of starts in New Zealand that he was first tried out as a stayer because there aren’t a lot of staying races over there,” he said.
Know Class was bred and is owned by Gary Cleeve, whom Shaw worked for as a kennel hand in New Zealand.
Shaw obtained his trainer’s licence just prior to his arrival in Australia, and while Know Class is the first Kiwi greyhound he has trained he has a total of five greyhounds under his name including fellow Sandown Cup contender Boris Sent Me, who is part-owned by Langton.
While excited about having greyhounds involved in such a prestigious event, Shaw isn’t getting his hopes up about his chances.
Should either of his dogs finish first or second in Thursday’s heats, however, it will be hard for Shaw to contain his enthusiasm as they’ll be in the final of a race worth $175,000 to the winner.
TAB is offering guaranteed pools of $10,000 for First 4s in every race at Sandown this Thursday night.