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Trainer Jeff Crawford's veterans up for Golden Oldies challenge

Race-11-Kiss-And-Spin-DS4-6521-jpg.JPGBy Alex Nolan

One-time Flying Amy Classic winner Kiss And Spin’s racing days may be limited but her trainer Jeff Crawford hopes she can wind back the clock in Thursday’s Listed Golden Oldies Final at Albion Park.

Kiss And Spin will start from box two in the 520 metre feature for Masters eligible greyhounds, alongside kennel mate Black Mirage, who has drawn box one for just the third time in her 40-start career.

Both greyhounds did their best work late after getting back in their respective heats last week.

“I expected they’d run on well given they’d had runs at 600 metres in recent weeks to give them added strength and confidence prior to starting their Masters campaigns,” Crawford said.

Black Mirage fell past the post in her heat but Crawford said she was in good shape both physically and mentally for her next assignment.

“She probably needs to be a bit further forward in the field and drawing box one gives her the opportunity to be there,” he said.

Crawford said Kiss And Spin could come from last with the right run in transit.   

“She needs to find the fence and get a trouble free run through the catching pen,” he said.

“Her strength is her mid race section so if she can get clear running room, she’ll maintain that speed right to the line.”

Races

6
6

Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:10 PM

TAB Golden Oldies (L) F

Race-11-Kiss-And-Spin-DS5-7737-jpg.JPGHe said Kiss And Spin was a “confidence dog” and her recent slow starts are giving him the indication that her racing career, which includes 12 wins and more than $70,000 in prize money, may be nearing an end.

“I don’t know how long she’ll press on for. They both turned three-and-a-half in December and I don’t like to over race my dogs … particularly bitches. I don’t want to leave too much on the track,” he said, noting both were destined for the breeding kennel.   

However, Crawford is a fan of the Listed Golden Oldies concept, which is restricted to greyhounds whelped on or before June 30, 2018.

Kiss And Spin’s litter was whelped on that exact date, with Black Mirage welcomed into the world just 16 days earlier.

“The beauty about Masters racing is it gives the dogs an opportunity to compete against dogs their own age,” he said.

“I think it’s a great initiative from all racing bodies to offer feature races like this and, in this case, a Listed race.”

Crawford trained 87 winners in 2021 and a win in the Golden Oldies would be an ideal way for the kennel to kick off 2022, after he ticked off a major goal last year.

“I set myself two goals last year; one was to earn $250,000 in prize money, which I just did and the other was to get 100 winners,” he said.

“I was going well and had 60 winners in the first half of the year but just injuries and retirements and some young pups not filling their potential brought an end to that.

“I may have fell short overall but it was a good year. We survived and everything we’ve made has been put back into the dogs.”

Crawford says 2022 shapes as a light year in terms of racing dogs but heavy in terms of breeding.

“We’ve just had four litters and there’s a fifth one due in two weeks, so in a couple of years we’re going to have some really nice pups going around," he said. 

Kiss And Spin
Black Mirage Next Racing