A YAMBUK family who breed top-class greyhounds on a 100-acre property are hoping to add to their Horsham Cup legacy more than 20 years after it began.
The Sinnott family – led by Ann – watched chaser Fire Lad run second in 1995. Now, they’re turning attention to another of their own.
Solitary Girl, trained by Dennington trainer Ray Drew yet owned by the Sinnotts, is vying for top honours in Saturday night’s Horsham Cup.
The most recent champion the Sinnotts bred was Solitary Girl’s dam, Up And Away, winner of the group one Laurels and two group two events, the Ballarat Cup and Great Chase.
“Solitary Girl looks a lot like Up And Away. They’re both fawn (in colour) and have similar natures, however Up And Away was a more consistent beginner,” Ann said.
Rewind the clock further and the Sinnotts bred a finalist in 1983 National Sprint Championship called Extra Progress.
They won the 1993 Hobart Thousand with Extra’s Boy. They claimed the 1995 Sydney Cup with Fire Lad and also bred a versatile superstar named Springress, who ‘won over every distance in Melbourne’ during the early 90s.
“We’ve bred seven generations of greyhounds and every litter we’ve ever bred has produced winners, including our very first litter, to Tangairn, in which every pup was Free For All class in Melbourne,” Thomas Sinnott, a veteran trainer, said.
Solitary Girl has had 25 starts for nine wins and six minor placings and earned $18,895 in prize money.
She is tipped to start at long odds in the $47,000 to-the-winner Horsham Cup against seven of Victoria's best greyhounds including Aston Dee Bee and Out Of Range, however Thomas Sinnott remained hopeful she could be the first female chaser in more than 15 years to clinch the prestigious race.
“(Solitary Girl) has shown brilliant early speed at times in her career and she has won twice in fast time at Sandown Park recently, so if she runs up to her best form you never know,” he said.
Sinnott puts his breeding prowess down to a few simple things.
“We feed our pups really well because, apart from the dry food (kibble), virtually everything they eat is for human consumption,” he said.
“The meat we feed is quality stuff from an excellent supplier in Mount Gambier, and we give them fresh milk every day from a pet cow we have at home.
“Once upon a time nearly everyone had a house cow, but not anymore, so giving our pups the freshest of milk is a bit of an advantage we have over other breeders I suppose.
A common theme among successful breeders is ensuring their pups get plenty of human attention, and Sinnott is no different in his beliefs. The cup jumps at 9.20pm.