The Keith Harding-trained Elektra was crowned the Schweppes WA Greyhound of the Year for 2008 at a gala function in Perth on Sunday night.
Elektra raced 33 times during 2008, recording 11 wins and 16 placings for a total of $141,671 in stakemoney.
Her biggest win for the year was her brilliant victory against a hot field in the Group 1 SKY Channel Galaxy over 715 metres during the Perth Cup Carnival in April. Her thrilling finish, where she gave the leaders many lengths start turning for home captivated the huge on-course crowd and will be long remembered by many. That win followed a powerful last-to-second performance two weeks prior in the Group 3 Swan Draught Stayers Challenge against a strong contingent of interstate stayers.
Elektra came to Western Australia in mid 2007 in the twilight of her career when thought to be near retirement, however trainer Keith Harding successfully rejuvenated her career which saw her win 20 races and place a further 19 times from 48 starts here. She captured the imagination of local greyhound racing fans with her powerful finishes in races over the longer distances at Cannington.
Elektra retired from racing at the end of September 2008 at over four and a half years of age after a 101-start career which saw her earnings surpass $255,000.
The Greyhound of the Year honour was the fifth for Harding who had been associated with previous award winners Ultimate Rebel (2001), Gemarly Park (1997), Capobianca (1991) and inaugural WA Racing Industry Hall of fame greyhound nominee Afro freeway (1983).
In other awards presented at the gala function, the Gerry O’Keefe Achievement Award went to Kerry Vernon for her dedicated work over many years with the Greyhounds As Pets programme.
The Leading Trainer Award went to Linda Britton, who trained 336 winners in a year where she won the trainers’ premiership at both Cannington and Mandurah for the third year in a row.
The Youth Achievement Award went to dual-code licensed trainer Kody Charles, who is now enjoying success in both the greyhound and harness codes. Charles trained 39 winners across the three Greyhounds WA venues during 2008 in only his second full year of training.