There will be a real family celebration if underrated stayer Shanlyn Lucy can complete an unlikely rise to Group glory in Saturday night’s Group 3 Topcat Video Cup at The Meadows.
Shanlyn Lucy is trained by Amy Lauterboom and while Amy has her hands full raising two young boys – Java (3) and Harlon (4 months) – she has the advantage of being able to share training duties with her father, veteran mentor Stan Ralph.
“It’s a real family effort,” Stan explained.
“My wife helps, my children help, Amy’s husband helps and the grandchildren love the dogs. Greyhound racing is a fantastic environment for the kids. I reared six of mine at the racetrack and I’m sure people would remember other trainers helping them with their homework!”
It’s already been a huge week for Amy and the Ralph clan, with Mighty Sprite smashing the Cranbourne 311m course record on Wednesday night.
And while Shanlyn Lucy will contest her first Group event in Saturday’s Topcat Video Cup after an impressive 42.69sec heat victory over Group 1 winner Luna Jinx, Ralph believes the $25,000 winner’s bounty is within her grasp despite an awkward draw in six.
“She’s doing the job perfectly at the moment, although truthfully I don’t know whether she’s a Group bitch,” Stan offered.
“She can run the time but when you get to this level most of them can run the time and it depends on who gets the best run in the race.
“I’d like to be drawn a bit better and the dog that’s the hardest to beat (Lady Toy – box 1) has drawn perfectly. All things being equal it will depend on what happens in the first 300m but if Shanlyn Lucy can possie up and not get knocked over they’ll know she’s there.
“Is she a chance? Definitely!
“I’ve been in the game for more than 40 years but my heart will be in my mouth for half the race on Saturday night. The dream is still alive!”
The father/daughter conditioning team didn’t start training Shanlyn Lucy until relatively late in her racing career and Stan admits her emergence as a serious Group contender has come as a pleasant surprise.
“Our philosophy has always been that you never know where your next winner is coming from,” he said.
“Shanlyn Lucy was about 2 ½ when we got her and she’d won her maiden but that was about all and she wasn’t really going that well.
“I was training her brother Shanlyn Patch and the owners asked if we wanted to have a go with Shanlyn Lucy too, although I have to admit that when I looked at her form and her tapes I thought to myself why did we take her on?
“But we instantly fell in love with her. It took about two minutes because she’s just the most beautiful little animal and lo and behold she’s got some ability too!”
Watch: Shanlyn Lucy wins her Topcat Video Cup heat at The Meadows last Saturday night in 42.69sec, just half a length slower than the fastest heat winner.