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Kong aiming to be ‘King’ of Shepparton

When Luke Murray and his Tiger Seven Syndicate purchased the two highest priced lots at the 2015 Richmond Riches Puppy Auction they certainly knew what they were doing.

The sale-topper was a Collision – Double Twist pup that went under the hammer for $21,000 and now races as Mister Twister, winner of this year’s Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic, $100,000 to-the-winner Listed Richmond Riches, and $256,485 in prizemoney.

The Tiger Seven Syndicate also parted company with $15,000 for a Mogambo – Fantasy Royale youngster.

Named Kong, the hulking 39-kilogram NSW raider will be one of the most interesting runners in Monday night’s heats of the Group 2 CKH Painting Shepparton Cup.

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“We’ve been extremely lucky with the two dogs,” Luke Murray offered.

“Mister Twister and Kong are the first two dogs the syndicate has owned and they’re loving it. There’s seven of us in the syndicate – they’re friends and friends of friends – so it wasn’t too much money each.

“The syndicate have all got the greyhound bug now. Even a few of the wives are right into it. The wives weren’t that keen to start with but now they’re saying this isn’t that bad!

“We liked the breeding and the look of the two pups. Being out of Double Twist (joint 2013 NSW Greyhound of the Year) Mister Twister was one of the headline pups in the auction and even though Double Twist wasn’t proven we took a bit of a punt.

“With Kong I never expected him to be 39 kilos. He had a bit of length about him as a pup, he was tall and long and big all over, and he just kept growing. He got up to 43 kilos when he was out on the farm at about 14 months. We named him Kong because he was really big and black!”

Kong Richmond Auction

Pictured: Kong with breeder Jeff Crawford after being sold for $15,000 at the 2015 Richmond Riches Puppy Auction.
Kong, which is trained by Luke’s mother Cheryl, has won 12 of his 24 starts, with earnings of $34,170, and ran third to Mister Twister in the lucrative Richmond Riches Final in May.

Kong will make his second visit to Shepparton when he exits box eight in the fifth of Monday evening’s eight Cup heats and the Murray’s will be hoping for a much better result this time around.

“He fell when he went down to Shepparton last year but he trialled there last week and went really well so that shouldn’t be a problem,” Luke said.

“He’s such a big dog so he’s suited on the big one-turn tracks and I think Shepparton will suit him, although in saying that, he’s won four races on two-turn tracks now, two at Wenty and two at Richmond.

“He’s definitely fast enough to win a good race but he just needs a bit of room to move early, which it looks like he’ll get from the eight. Shepparton has a good run to the first bend so he should get the chance to wind up. Zinzan Brooke is obviously the one to beat but I think Kong is capable of beating him.”

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Kong has won his only two previous assignments from box eight, beating Mister Twister in a scorching 26.10sec at Bulli and clocking 30.81sec at Richmond.

The Murray’s will also bring a second Shepparton Cup contender in superbly-bred Paws Of Thunder finalist Blabba Mouth, a son of 2009 Australian Greyhound of the Year Cindeen Shelby, on the nine-hour trip from Pelaw Main, located near Kurri Kurri in the Hunter region of NSW.

gerardg
About Gerard Guthrie - Chief Journalist The Greyhound Recorder Chief Journalist with The Greyhound Recorder newspaper since 2001, member Topgun selection panel, Dapto Megastar selection panel and Australian and NSW Greyhound of the Year judging panels, compere Dapto Puppy Auction, previously contributed to Sky Racing's The Catching Pen, Sky Sports Radio's Going Greyhounds and www.thedogs.com.au website. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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