A greyhound racing dream came true for the Whelan family when their home-grown youngster Lakeview Walter completed a meteoric rise to stardom in the Feukuai Greyhounds Silver Chief Final (525m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.
While Monique Whelan’s name may be in the race book as trainer, Lakeview Walter is very much a family enterprise; with husband Peter and children Harley, Luke, Lana, Christine and Brooke all part of the fairy tale Group 1 celebration.
Incredibly, Lakeview Walter was the Whelans’ first runner in a Group event and the memorable victory was extra special with the son of the great Fernando Bale and Lakeview Maisey being bred, owned and trained by the Metung-based family, while his litter was the first broken in by Harley and Luke.
“It’s a good feeling,” said an excited Luke Whelan.
“It’s a bit unrealistic at the moment but we’re pretty happy with it.”
WATCH: LAKEVIEW WALTER (2) proves too strong in the 2021 Silver Chief, defeating TYLER DURDEN (3) and front-runner PAPI GO FAST (1) in 29.70sec.
Lakeview Walter was the baby of the Silver Chief field, not turning two until April, and started $3.20 favourite at just the seventh start of his career.
He’d made his Meadows debut when winning his heat in 29.67s, the second fastest qualifying effort, and then drew favourably in box two for the $100,000 to-the-winner final.
In a very even line-up, speedy rails runner Papi Go Fast ($3.90) came out running to lead, with Lakeview Walter using his inside alley to follow through into second rounding the first turn.
Lakeview Walter gained the ascendancy down the back and the ‘Metung Marvel’ kept going strongly in the home straight to defeat the fast-finishing outsider Tyler Durden ($42.30) by .94 of a length in 29.70s, with frontrunner Papi Go Fast holding on for third.
“It looks like he’s going to be pretty promising and he’s only pretty young so hopefully he keeps improving and I reckon he’s still got a little bit left in him,” said Luke.
It was Lakeview Walter’s fourth win in succession and fifth from seven overall, with the promise of much more to follow on the track and his post-racing home most certainly assured.
“In my back yard or the lounge room!” Luke quipped.