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Thrilling Sam first into The Dogs Hall of Fame?

4 August 2005

Thrilling Sam first into The Dogs Hall of Fame?

Greyhound Racing New Zealand will launch a new Hall of Fame for its greyhounds who reach $100,000 in New Zealand prize stake earnings, at one of their new Saturday evening events at Hatrick Raceway, Wanganui this weekend.

Thrilling Sam, one of the industry’s top greyhounds, is owned by Tirau’s Gary Harding and trained by Manawatu’s Bill Hodgson. He has raced 58 times with 29 wins, 19 places and is nearly unbeatable at both Wanganui and Wellington. His earnings sit currently at $99857.50, $142.50 off the $100,000 mark, and he will be the first greyhound to be inducted into the Hall of Fame if he takes home first prize this Saturday.

With Idol Appeal, Slender Maree, Inside Cover and Superstitious predicted to join Thrilling Sam in the next 18 months, the Hall of Fame highlights the substantial financial returns within the industry for a relatively low entry and training investment. The $100,000 mark has been reached twice before in this country by Misty Anna and Cecilia Lloyd.

Lance Bickford, chief executive, Greyhound Racing New Zealand said that the Hall of Fame will recognise the efforts of the dog and the owner equally.

“Previously we have recognised the owners efforts but recognising the dog as a racing champion is always a hard task. As the code continues to grow, we need to celebrate excellence and the outstanding efforts within the industry and this is one initiative, as quirky as it may sound, to start the celebrations,” he said.

Thrilling Sam will have his paw prints, photo and profile mounted at one of the clubs along with his owner’s details and comments. The owner will also receive a ceramic embossed cannon bone - one and a half the size of a real one.

The Saturday events are a first for the greyhound racing code and recognises the growth of the sport during the last year. The first four Saturday night racing events will be held at Wanganui on Saturday 6 and 27 August 2005 and Manukau, Auckland on Saturday 13 and 20 August 2005. A further four will be held in July 2006.

“We would like to encourage those in and around the Wanganui district, who haven’t experienced a night of greyhound racing, to come along, cheer Thrilling Sam on and enjoy a night of action-packed greyhound racing,” said Mr Bickford.

Thrilling Sam lines up in race 8 at 7:47pm, Saturday 6 August 2005 at Hatrick Raceway in Wanganui. The first race is at 5.18 pm.


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