The 2011-12 New Zealand Greyhound season will be remembered for the astonishing John McInerney season-long training spree, which concluded with the Canterbury dogman preparing 803 winners.
In doing so, McInerney, who operates kennels out of Darfield and Marton, Manawatu, shattered his previous season's record-breaking 612 winning tally. Team McInerney also set a new stakes earning mark at $1,311,578.
On the racing front, turnovers continued to increase with domestic off-course figures growing by eight per cent, reaching $218 million. There was strong growth in the fixed odds markets which reached $26 million, 30 per cent up on the previous season. And the export market to Australia remained strong, with the Aussies heavily investing in New Zealand greyhound pools.
Two greyhounds broke through the $100,000 stake-earning barrier during the season, with the Lisa Ahern-trained champion Little Mother winning $135,540 and his kennelmate Bigtime Kinvara $102,802. Little Mother's achievements included setting a record for the most race wins. She bowed out with 85 victories for a record-setting total of $377,751.
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The Karen Walsh-trained Thrilling Brat exploded on to the Australian scene when contesting numerous group one staying races across the Tasman, which saw him winning A$104,000, including his staggering 11.75-length demolition of his opposition in the Super Stayers' final in Melbourne for his owner and breeder Gary Harding.
The McInerney-trained Nippa Mary won the most races during the season with 26, one more than Little Mother. In doing so, Nippa Mary won the NZ Sprinter of the Year title. Little Mother won the Middle Distance award and Thrilling Brat is the NZ Stayer of the Year. Bigtime Kinvara won the NZ Bred Greyhound of the Year.
Emulate won a close battle for the Dam of the Year title ahead of Another Laurel. Australian-based sire Big Daddy Cool was dominant in winning his third NZ Sires award, after leaving the winners of 575 races.
Tokoroa trainer Linda Martin won her first national Trainers' Strike Rate award. Her 75 race starters yielded 29 winners and 17 minor placings, finishing with a tidy UDR rating of 0.4978.