By Neil Brown
it comes to the history of greyhound racing the mighty Tenthill Doll will be
remembered as one of most astute purchases of all time. Prominent Sydney
owner Ray Richards, following the advice
of trainer Harry Sarkis negotiated the sale of the young Tenthill Doll after
only 13 starts in her home state of Queensland
. Her owner-breeder Merv Laffey agreed to
the purchase price of $20,000 in May 1995. The deal was sealed after the black
bitch had set a track record in a 600-meter grade five at Albion Park she ran
35.21. It was her fifth win to that point of her career and followed wins over
457 and 557 at Toowoomba.
had raced the dam Tenthill Flyer (Chariot Supreme x National Queen) with some
success and her first litter to Amerigo Man had produced fellow Hall of Famer
superstar Flying Amy. Laffey had sold Flying Amy as a pup to Eric Tedford who
raced the champion in partnership with Ron and Mavis Ball. Laffey chose boom
Victorian sire Malawi 's
Prince for her second mating and the litter consisting of two dogs and three
bitches and was whelped in March 1993.
Doll's career had commended under the guidance of Queensland
mentor Jim Gallaway and she first raced
on the 30 th of October 1994
winning a qualifying trial over 457 at Toowoomba. She ran second in the final
and it wasn't until her fourth start over 457 at Parklands on the Gold Coast
that she broke her maiden status winning in a best of the day 25.89. Tenthill
Doll won again there at her eighth start in 25.79 before her trio of wins prior
to the sale.
it luck, good fortune or a very keen eye for what might be a champion. But at
the time $20,000 was a top offer for a greyhound after only 13 starts, with
you consider most of her form had been on Queensland
sold a half share in Tenthill Doll to his friend Matthew Vallti the pair had
raced a number of dogs together but nothing would live with the enjoyment they
were about experience racing a greyhound that stamped herself as one of the
very best chasers of all time.
what an outstanding career it was, a read of Tenthill Doll's statistics emphasis
her greatness. 56 starts, 31 wins, 10 seconds and 7 thirds. At her time of retirement
Tenthill Doll set the Australian record for stake earnings $382,660. She raced
well on all tracks but had an outstanding record at her favorite track Wentworth
26 starts for 16 wins and 7 placings. She joined the New South Wales elite Zoom
Top, Winifred Bale and National Lass all Hall of Famers by winning two NCA Greyhound
of the Year awards in 1995 and 1996, in both those years she recorded the fastest
time recorded over 520m at Wentworth Park.
is the only greyhound in history to hold three metropolitan track records concurrently,
(29.65) and Cannington (30.67). She was also the first greyhound to win three
group one events in succession, the 1996 Golden Easter Egg, Perth Cup and Australian
Cup finals. Tenthill Doll was also runner-up in the 1995 Melbourne Cup, Top
Gun and Bob Payne Winter Stake. Sally's other credits included winning the Penthouse
Cup at Wentworth Park and finishing third behind her half sister Flying Amy
in the 1995 Eukanuba Cup at Albion Park. In what might have been a fairy tale
end to her career she raced for the last time in the 1997 Golden Easter Egg
she finishing sixth. Unfortunately Injuries had taken their toll and after beginning
well she was to fade and went down gallantly beaten only 5 ¼ lengths
behind Victorian Bahama Image. If she had been successful in running either
first or second Tenthill Doll would have retired as the world's highest stake
winning greyhound. She fell short only by a small amount to American superstar
Mo Kick, who won an astounding 109 races, earning $314,067US.
Doll will be remembered for her tenacious chasing ability. She could both lead
a top class field of sprinters or in turn give them a start and run them down.
For this writer her most famous win was staged at Sandown
in the final of the 1996 Australian Cup. Giving tear away leader Proper Tears
a start most thought impossible to overcome her never say die attitude saw her
lunge on the line securing victory in what was an outstanding performance. For
part owner Ray Richards nothing surpassed her incredible win in the Easter Egg
of the same year.
it was her best win, like most we thought she couldn't possible win down the
back straight but she never gave up and flashed home to win right on the line.
It was such a pleasure to race her, Matthew and I have always felt blessed to
have had the opportunity to have been associated with one of this country's
great greyhounds.” Richards said.
love and passion for “Sally” was reflected in his emotional acceptance speech
the night Tenthill Doll was inducted into the Hall Of
Fame on the 3rd of September 1999
in Sydney .
her retirement she has whelped three litters to Light Of Fire, Head Honcho and
Bearabilty with smart Queensland
sprinter Springtime Magic the best of her pups to race so far.
Doll will long be remembered as one of the all time greats and deservedly takes
her place in the AGRA Hall of Fame.
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