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Sire and dam selection should Knott be underestimated

Hobby breeder Peter Knott spent $50,000 getting his most recent litter to the racetrack, but he is beginning to reap the rewards, with city winners Especial Shiraz and Go Commando making their mark.

Carnegie breeder trainer Peter Knott is making a name for himself thanks to the success of his 25-month-old litter by Bombastic Shiraz out of Especially.

The litter includes Especial Shiraz and Go Commando, who ran first and second respectively in heats of the recent Group 2 Launching Pad (515m) series at Sandown Park before being unplaced in the semi-finals.

Knott, who lives on a house block and is a painter by trade, said he has invested heavily in the litter.

“This was the very last straw of Bombastic Shiraz so it was worth a lot of money. I paid $20,000 for the straw. The stud fee combined with the costs of getting the seven pups to the racetrack has cost me around $50,000 in total,” he said.

Especial Shiraz is the only greyhound Knott trains, however he owns all seven in the litter. He breeds his litters at home and keeps the pups in his backyard until they are about four months of age.

“When selecting a sire I use the services of Pedigrees By Design, which is run by David Brasch in Queensland. For a small fee of $110, David does all the homework for you.”

“At 16 weeks I send my pups to be reared in Pearcedale by Justin Illman, who is the best commercial rearer I’ve found, and after that they go to Kevin McNamara, near Maryborough, for breaking in. The McNamaras do a fantastic job that is second to none, and the same can be said for Dr Alistair Smith and his team at the Sandown Vet Clinic, because when breeding and racing you need the assistance and guidance of a valued veterinary surgeon,” he said.

This is the fifth litter Knott has bred since starting out as a greyhound breeder in 2007, and he is proud that all seven pups have made it to the racetrack, with three winning on city tracks. He said successful breeding starts with careful selection of the sire and dam.

“I remember listening to an interview a few years ago with Paul Wheeler, who said he only breeds with females that have won multiple city races, and to me, that’s the first rule of thumb,” Knott said.

“Then when it comes to selecting a sire I use the services of Pedigrees By Design, which is run by David Brasch in Queensland. For a small fee of $110, David does all the homework for you. You’re investing a lot of money when you breed a litter, so you don’t want to get it wrong, and David has a great success rate.”

Knott said it was a case of all hands on deck with his greyhounds at home, with wife Sue preparing the feeds, son Cameron assisting with the cardio training of Especial Shiraz, and daughter Elise in charge of grooming and providing the all-important TLC.

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About Andrew Copley - Racing Communication Manager at Greyhound Racing Victoria with 20 years of experience working as a greyhound racing reporter with National Greyhound Form newspaper and GRV. Adopter of celebrity greyhound, Fred Basset.
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