2009 Betfair NSW Greyhounds of the Year Finalists Announced

On Monday night a panel of seven well-known greyhound racing experts and media identities gathered at Wentworth Park to discuss and decide upon the three finalists for the 2009 Betfair NSW Greyhound of the Year award.

The top trio are Miss Elly Mint, Take The Kitty and dual Group 1 winner Lilley Criminal. The only stringent criteria was that the finalists must have been domiciled in NSW for more than half a year.

The Robert Smith-trained Miss Elly Mint (Elite State x Indigo Mint) had a brilliant season that began with a victory at Gosford in the Group 2 Woy Woy Poultry Supplies Cup Final, with the bitch continuing on to win ten of her 12 starts in 2009, setting the record for the most consecutive wins on TAB tracks with 16 (some run in 2008). Other notable success included finishing runner-up to Dana Beatrice in the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg before injury halted her glittering career in late April.

Take The Kitty, trained by Kenneth Cheetham, is the only male greyhound in the top three finalists. The son of Big Daddy Cool had an intense and impressive racing schedule for 2009, running in an amazing 35 races for 18 wins throughout the year. Notable accomplishments including a win in the Group 3 Christmas Gift and making it through to the final of the Solo Melbourne Cup before suffering an unlucky injury in the big event holding on for a gallant fifth.

Trained by Anthony Azzopardi, Lilley Criminal took out both the Group 1 Association Cup (720m) at Wentworth Park and the Group 1 Australian Super Stayers at The Meadows, proving herself as one of the star stayers for 2009.

Unfortunately the in-form bitch suffered a career ending shoulder injury on Gold Easter Egg night following her sensational start to the season and has since been retired to breed.

The nomination for NSW Greyhound of the Year is an incredible way to finish a year highlighted with intense achievements and sad disappoint over the end of her racing years.

The Betfair NSW Greyhound of the Year awards night will be held on February 12 at the Sydney Hilton, where the winner will be announced.

Other awards set to be announced on the night include best distance greyhound, sprinter, sire, brood bitch and leading trainer. Nominations have also been received for the year’s best club, volunteer and young person under 25 who has contributed to the industry. All awards, including the new Betfair Media Award, will be presented on greyhound racing’s night of nights.

The 2009 Run of the Year is set to be another feature of the night.

For more information please contact:

Adam Pengilly

GRNSW Communications Coordinator

Ph: (02) 8767 0517