Faheys Clean Sweep Group 1 Breeders Stakes

THE talented Opawa Superstar emphatically lived up to his name when he demolished his rivals in Thursday’s New Zealand Breeders Stakes at Addington.

Peter Fenemor

21 January 2022

THE talented Opawa Superstar emphatically lived up to his name when he demolished his rivals in Thursday’s running of the $30,000 New Zealand Breeders Stakes at the Addington Raceway.

After jumping from trap-three the son of Fernando Bale and Opawa Tab was in cruise control throughout when claiming his Group 1 title by a convincing 5.25 lengths, clocking a slippery 29.80s for his 520m assignment.

It was also a complete training rout for the potent Dave and Jean Fahey partnership as they not only prepared Opawa Superstar, but also runner-up Chatty Mavis and third placed Milky Tea.

The Canterbury conditioners also maintained their lethal training partnership with breeders and the owning Opawa Racing team comprising of Robin Wales, Graham Campbell and the late Ron Todd, whose estate maintains his share.

For the Faheys Thursday’s victory was their 54th Group 1 training success, while they have also added a further 58 wins at Group 2 level – astonishing figures!

Opawa Racing has been an integral part of those triumphs having enjoyed 18 of those wins at the elite level, plus another 17 group 2 wins.

The initial Opawa Racing black type success came with the Australian bitch Jupiter Jazz in 2005, quickly followed by a succession of classy Winsome prefixed named greyhounds.

They made a deliberate decision to breed from a number of those exceptional bitches, resulting in a steady stream of elite locally bred canine athletes.

Opawa Superstar is a classic example of that outstanding breeding program which sees Wales rearing and breaking in the resulting progeny at a property close to the Fahey’s training base.

“Dave works in closely with us being here on a daily basis. We swap greyhounds between our base here and theirs for racing,” advised Wales.

“I felt comfortable about Opawa Superstar winning the Breeders after they had gone 50 or so meters. I knew at that point there would be no excuses.

“I knew right from the start when breaking him in that he was going to a special top-line greyhound. He confirmed that when I started trialling him at Addington – he was flying,” added Wales.

Previously Opawa Racing included the NZ TAB manager of the elite customers Alan Davidson in the ownership of a greyhound who turned out to be injury prone.

“That dog was Opawa Rockstar, so Alan then suggested calling this bloke Opawa Superstar, while including him as an owner.”

That call has turned into being entirely appropriate with Opawa Superstar now having won 15 of his 23 career races, netting $66,508 in stake earnings, an amount that will undoubtedly skyrocket over the coming months.

It is developing into a rather freakish litter of just four siblings who between them have won 36 of their combined 75 race starts – a remarkable winning 48 percent strike rate!

“It a real shame that she (Opawa Tab) didn’t have a bigger litter,” chuckled Wales.

It was a high-class evening of quality Addington chasing action which included another star attraction in the potent stayer Know Keeper.

He was hugely impressive in the manner that he treated his rivals with utter contempt, destroying his 732m rivals by a comprehensive 12.5 lengths, clocking a scintillating 42.92s.

Future plans for the Garry Cleeve prepared Know Keeper includes a potential crack at the rich ‘The 715m’ at The Gardens in June.        . 

Pic – Dave Robbie