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Kouta has the Kama

Every trainer remembers the first winner, and Ibrahim ‘Kouta’ Kama has managed this feat in only his first few months with that title.

It’s a promising start for Kouta, on his first start with his most recent charge, Go Twenty Two (Cosmic Rumble – Laura Allen), but he told SEN Track’s Thrill of the Chase the 425m win at Bendigo on May 15 wasn’t without a healthy dose of nerves.

“Walking to the boxes I started shivering a bit, but after I put him in the box I just thought well, that’s racing all I can do is put him in the box and see what he does.”

“To his credit, he didn’t begin the best and got held up a little bit, but when he started swinging around, I was pretty confident.”

Although Go Twenty Two (known as home as Les) already had eight wins from 42 starts with a former trainer, this was Kouta’s first foray, and he based much of his confidence in the dog’s short-term form.

“He’d won at Sale with a 25.03 over 440m back in April and I didn’t think the 425m at Bendigo would have suited him. It was really a fitness run leading up to a 500m the week after.”

“Anthony Azzopardi has also been great, a massive mentor. Between Daniel and Anthony, when I don’t know something they’re great to call on for advice.”

“When I put him in the box, he was pushing back on me a bit, but when he got going, he showed a really good turn of foot and great acceleration. Once he got to about two length from the leader… well I didn’t even look at the TV screens in the box. You really couldn’t get the smile off my face. It was a real shock.”

Kouta’s decision to train was based on a friendship he struck up at his local footy club. “My mate Daniel Davis took on a fairly handy sprinter I had. Then, after I started my own chauffeuring business, I found myself with a few spare hours during the day so I thought I might as well give training crack.”

“Anthony Azzopardi has also been great, a massive mentor. Between Daniel and Anthony, when I don’t know something they’re great to call on for advice. I really have to thank Anthony, Daniel, Peter Gavin and John Barbara for all their help and support.”

“I really enjoy improving a dog, seeing them gradually improve more and more, and that connection with the dog. They rely on you 24/7 and seeing them race well, going to the track with them, it’s a special connection. So enjoyable. Hopefully, we’ll get a few more winners.”

Pawnote: Go Twenty Two placed fourth in the 500m, a week after his 425m win and has since run sixth over a 525M at The Meadows.

Hear ‘Thrill of the Chase’ on SEN Track 1593AM.

WATCH: Replay Kouta’s first win with Go Twenty Two (5) at Bendigo.

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

Phillip Weir
About Phillip Weir - Phil Weir is based in regional Victoria and has spent a lifetime working in the media. He has a keen interest in the origins of greyhound racing and is a foster carer for the Greyhound Adoption Program.
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