For such a bizarre name, Swimming Goat a winner

A GREYHOUND with the unusual name of Swimming Goat continues to make headlines in New Zealand.

The former Australian chaser won 22 races in a row at Christchurch's Addington track between March and October this year.

Going for 23 in a row, he was narrowly beaten.

Since that out of character defeat, Swimming Goat has won another seven races in a row. But yesterday his latest winning sequence came to an abrupt halt.

After beginning slowly, Swimming Goat ran fifth, the first time he has finished further back than second in New Zealand.

He was the very short priced favourite at $1.10.

The dog is owned by Allan Lang who lives near Casino in northern NSW.

The "goat'' had four wins from 11 starts in that region before Lang decided to send the dog across the ditch to Kiwi trainer Calum Weir.

The main reason for the move is that Swimming Goat struggled at race distances around 400 metres and in Christchurch, there are plenty of races over 295 metres for fairly decent prizemoney.

Swimming Goat is by 2011 Australian greyhound of the year El Grand Senor out of Kingsbrae Molly who won 11 races for the Northfield family of Casino. The dog was won $73,485 in prize- money. That's not bad for a speedy squib you could say.

Swimming Goat turns three years of age next month and barring injury, could race for another 12 months or more.

And why the name Swimming Goat you might ask?

Lang said it was the intention of using the word "Flamingo'' in the dog's racing name. He enlisted the help of his grand daughter and every time she tried to say "Flamingo,'' it sounded like "Swimming Goat''.

Lang wouldn't confirm or deny whether a few alcoholic beverages had been consumed that night.

Santa Claws racing

SPEAKING of unusual names, I couldn't believe my ears when I heard a dog named Santa Claws racing at Devonport in Tasmania last Tuesday.

"This would have to be a great omen tip,'' I thought. But I wasn't in a TAB, I was in my car driving to Ipswich and couldn't place a bet.

You don't need to be told - Santa Claws jumped straight to the front and romped home, paying $5.10.

The former Victorian trained dog had six starts in that state for one win and was having his first start for trainer Phillip Cassidy who lives in the small town of Hillwood, near Launceston.

Hillwood has a population of just 339 people. No doubt Santa Claws is now a bit of a hero in that town.

Cheer on Thirty Talks

QUEENSLAND'S star performer of the moment, Thirty Talks, lines up at the Meadows in Melbourne tomorrow night for a heat of the group 1 Silver Chief Classic.

The Len Antonio owned Tony Brett trained dog has box seven for his first start at that track. There are eleven heats of the Silver Chief leading into semi finals the following week. A first, second or third placing tomorrow night will carry runners through to the semis.

The Thirty Talks race is at 8.25pm. Queensland time.

Consider this

ESCALATORS don't break down. They just turn into stairs.

Key dates

WITH Christmas Day and New Year's day falling on a Sunday this year, there will be no changes to the Ipswich racing schedule of Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

To help you plan ahead, these are the starting times of the Ipswich race meetings over the next week.

Today - 2.57pm. Tomorrow - 4.03pm. Tuesday December 27 - 2.42pm. Friday December 30 - 2.52pm. Saturday December 31 - 5.02pm.

To all Dogwatch readers, have a happy, safe and winning festive season.

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