After a successful night of greyhound racing at South Australia's Angle Park track for the heats of the 2012 Adelaide Cup, several of the Group 1 finalist greyhounds and their co-trainer George Dailly along with handler Carl, have been in involved in an tragic car accident in the early hours of the morning.
The accident is believed to have claimed several greyhound lives and both George and Carl have been hospitalised with injuries. Those injuries are considered "minor" but George is believed to be suffering from broken ribs.
One greyhound is confirmed to have been killed in the accident. Big Black Mac, who had qualified for the $175,000 Adelaide Cup final by winning the first heat of the Cup in 29.66 has been confirmed by Police as having died at the accident scene.
Big Black Mac was a very promising young greyhound winning 6 of his career 11 starts, with earnings of over $25,000 and had already registered a best time of 29.59 at Sandown. He wasn't due to turn 2 years of age until December this year.
Lektra Ottens is also confirmed as missing, having fled the scene in panic. Police have confirmed that local CFA volunteers are still searching the area for the missing fawn greyhound.
Fourteen greyhounds are known to have been onboard when the accident occurred, having all competed for trainer Andrea Dailly at last night's meeting. Several greyhounds are said to be "pretty banged up" and while it was believed there may have been multiple greyhound fatalities, only one greyhound is confirmed dead at this time.
A Police spokesperson has confirmed that a vet attended the accident scene to assist and assess all greyhounds.
Among those on board were Heston Bale, nominal favourite for the Adelaide Cup final after drawing box 1 in the final, and the winner of nearly $100,000 in prizemoney. High profile greyhound and SA Derby winner Spud Regis, another Adelaide Cup heat winner, was also onboard at the time of the accident.
The combined prizemoney earnings of the greyhounds known to have been involved in the accident is in excess of $450,000, where the real value of the greyhounds involved would be multiples of that with potential stud prospects Heston Bale and Spud Regis involved.
Dyna Lowell and Dyna Morris, who quinellaed the 2012 Traralgon Cup were both involved in the accident, with career prizemoney earnings of $131,000 and $130,000 respectively.
The accident is believed to have occurred in the early hours of the morning while George Dailly was sleeping and Carl was at the wheel. The accident occurred approximately 10kms east of Nhill, near the small rural town of Kiata about half way between the South Australian border and Horsham.
The Victorian Police spokesperson also confirmed that the Dailly's "ute and trailer carrying 14 greyhounds traveling in an easterly direction, left the road at approximately 3:45am, crashing through a fence and a vacant paddock before impacting upon the western verandah and wall of a house where a male and female occupant were asleep. Both home occupants were unhurt in the incident" although they were said to have been thrown from their beds by the impact of the crash.
Amazingly there were no human fatalities from the accident, and the only confirmed greyhound fatality is that of Big Black Mac, although grave concerns are held for Lektra Ottens, and the racing careers of many of the injured greyhounds may be in doubt. Sources close to the Dailly kennel are suggesting already that neither Spud Regis, nor Heston Bale will return to Adelaide to take their places in the $175,000 final.
The accident is said to have "written off" the Dailly's F250 truck and their expensive US imported dog trailer which was capable of transporting at least 16 greyhounds.
The Dailly's greyhounds were returning to their Victorian Anakie training base having just won three heats of the $175,000 Adelaide Cup with Big Black Mac, Heston Bale and Spud Regis, all qualifying for the final. The Dailly's also provided a further five placegetters during the eight heats.
Bookmakers such as TAB Sportsbet betting pre-post on the Adelaide Cup final have currently suspended all betting in the wake of the accident.
GRSA have already confirmed that the Angela Langton trained first reserve Quo Vadis, will take fatally injured Big Black Mac's place in the final, and further announcements will be made as the other greyhounds injuries become known.
George Dailly's brother Tom is currently in transit to the Horsham Hospital to attend upon George and Carl and to collect the remaining greyhounds.
This tragic accident comes just one night after Victorian greyhound trainers Steve and Heather Collins suffered a similar loss when kennel hand Jay ran off the road near Geelong on the way back from Warrnambool greyhounds and rolled the trailer, subsequently killing several greyhounds including Sisco Diamond and losing Lektra Ice who fled the scene.
Both the Dailly's and Collins' are prolific Victorian greyhound trainers who train greyhounds for leviathan greyhound breeders and owners, the Wheelers and the Lenehans.
UPDATE - 6/10/2012
Reports from the Dailly kennel today are that both Spud Regis and Heston Bale have faired well since the accident, and both are highly likely to return to Adelaide next week to contest the 2012 Group 1 Adelaide Cup Final. Lektra Ottens remains missing in the Wimmera area but no other greyhound fatalities have been confirmed.