Highly respected Pearcedale trainer Kelvyn Greenough tired of the working ‘9 to 5’ syndrome with Australia Post (formerly PMG) in the mid-1980s.
Life is a gamble and Greenough, a hobby greyhound trainer at the time, plunged head-first into professional ranks.
It’s said, “the greatest risk to take is to take no risk at all”, and Greenough’s decision has delivered in spades.
Yes, the ‘work hours’ are longer these days. But ‘what a way to make a living’!
Greenough and his wife, Jacqueline, have been associated with myriad stars of the sport – including G1 Melbourne Cup and G1 Australian Cup finalists – during the past three decades.
However, ‘Team Greenough’ has never raced for a $750,000 first prize!
But that will change when 22-month-old prodigy Wow She’s Fast (Box 4) contests the inaugural $1.145m TAB The Phoenix (525m) – the world’s only greyhound slot race – at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Wow She’s Fast has notched four wins from only six starts – including a scintillating 29.09sec win (by 27.5L!) at Sandown Park on race debut. In fact, her average winning margin is 11.33L.
She went on to make it four in a row at SP – also clocking 29.39sec, 29.32sec and 29.28sec.
Little wonder Wow She’s Fast ($9.00 on TAB fixed odds) offers ‘wow factor’ in the event.
Eight slot holders paid $75,000 each to be involved in the innovative race, with aptly named Wow She’s Fast selected by Sportsbet.
“They picked her to promote the sport and it changed my thought process,” Greenough said. “Normally, I would have put her in the all-female Laurels series.
“I suppose The Phoenix is a bit of a replica of horse racing’s ‘The Everest’, but we’d be stupid to shut this concept down.”
Greenough added that Wow She’s Fast “didn’t have to do too much work in her first four starts.”
“But her effort in a Melbourne Cup heat (when fifth) told me a story that she’s competitive and will adapt to high pressure racing. She conservatively ‘lost’ eight lengths yet was only beaten one and a half lengths.
“I’ve learned a lot more about her, and she experienced a real learning curve.”
WATCH: Aptly named Wow She’s Fast (5) lives up to her racing moniker with a sizzling 29.90sec win at Sandown Park on race debut.
“As it’s turned out, we’ve drawn quite well in box four. We’re hoping for a run through early.
“Her first section isn’t brilliant, but she has a good turn of foot. She opens up and keeps coming.
“And she’s very clean winded, it won’t surprise me to see her go over more ground. So, it’s a bit of the unknown what the future holds.”
And in a touch of irony surrounding The Phoenix, Fair Of Face finished fourth in the 2016 G2 Laurels to Up Hill Jill, who is the dam of star speedster Koblenz.
“Greg and Tyrone are loyal owners; they’ve been terrific,” Greenough said. “We started off with them around three years ago, and I think they paid $7000 for Wow She’s Fast as a three-month-old pup.”
But Greenough is level-headed when it comes to Wow’s She Fast being rated as the best female sprinter he’s been associated with.
“It’s hard to knock off Cindeen Shelby; she’s got a long way to go to emulate her feats.”
So, what’s the feeling like racing for a cool three-quarters of a million dollars?
“I hope this concept continues to grow and grow,” Greenough said. “Over the last few years, the prizemoney increases have been outstanding.
“If I was a younger person, I’d be seriously looking at getting involved in greyhound racing.
“The amount of money we’re racing for is mind-blowing. The sport has gone beyond my expectations, it’s to the point that I can’t believe it!”
2021 TAB THE PHOENIX FIELD
- Billy Creek (NSW GBOTA)
- Jungle Deuce (GRNSW)
- Spotted Elk (Racing Queensland)
- Wow She’s Fast (Sportsbet)
- Aston Rupee (Ray Borda)
- Vice Grip (The Dogs WA)
- True Collinda (TAB)
- Koblenz (SEN)
- Lala Kiwi
- Lakeview Walter
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