Early in 2004 a race dog named Big Daddy Cool was possibly the fastest greyhound in Australia.
The big black sprinter wowed racing fans with his speed, particularly at The Meadows in Melbourne, where he smashed the track record over 525 metres.
Ten years on and one of Big Daddy Cool’s daughters, Princess, a striking white greyhound with blue brindle patches, was key to the success of the 2014 TAB Great Chase Grand Final at The Meadows on 3 September.
The annual TAB Great Chase series, which runs over three weeks at greyhound tracks right across Victoria, must surely be among the greatest community racing events in the world.
At the beginning of the series, competing greyhounds are partnered with 150 Victorian organisations that care for the intellectually and physically disabled, who enjoy VIP treatment at their local racetrack while cheering on their very own greyhound, which races on their behalf.
The series culminates in the TAB Great Chase Grand Final at The Meadows, where hundreds of people from the disability sector enjoy a free fun-filled day incorporating music, entertainment, food and the chance to cuddle greyhounds such as Princess and Kobe, both of whom were adopted through the Greyhound Adoption Program by Melbourne couple Jenny and Don Graham.
The popularity of Princess and Kobe on the day is proof that it is not just incredible racing exploits that can bring enormous fanfare to greyhounds at the racetrack.