It didn't take long for Australia's world number one ranked tennis star Ash Barty to have a greyhound named in her honour and Spring Barty did the French Open winner proud when she scored a sensational win in maiden class at Bathurst on Monday.
Trained by Scott Board, Spring Barty led throughout to win a 520m maiden heat in a blistering 29.48s, much faster than the 29.72 posted by Still Blue in defeating dual WP winner Solar Sky in the top grade Orange Cup final.
Spring Barty's name has a special relevance to Board, as his 11-year-old daughter Ashleigh helps him constantly with his greyhounds and is also a huge fan of the tennis champ.
"Spring Barty is from the third litter produced by Spring Leaf, which my father Greg and I raced,'' Board said.
"Spring Leaf won 17 races and made several group race finals.
"She won her semi-final of the 2015 National Futurity at Wentworth Park in a blistering 29.50 and was sent out a $2.30 hot favourite in the final.
"But she found all sorts of trouble in the big race and finished second, beaten a length by Zipping Midge, in 29.80, which was a race record at that time.
"Spring Barty made her debut at Coonamble nearly four months ago but hurt her back muscle in that race and last Monday's Bathurst maiden was her comeback run.
"Spring Leaf's first litter were nothing flash but her second litter included Spring Falcon, who has had two wins and three seconds from six races in New Zealand where he has made a couple of group one finals.
"My father Greg trains in SA where has been enjoying success with a litter brother to Spring Barty called Spring Vinnie, and that dog has won six of his 10 starts.
"When Spring Vinnie won at Gawler in the best time of the meeting last Friday he was sent out a $1.18 favourite.''
The Board family has given their greyhounds the Spring prefix since racing Spring Gun, who took out the 2011 group 1 Vic Peters Classic at Wentworth Park for Appin trainer Christine Oldfield.
THREE of greyhound racing's most consistent sprinters will be out to enhance their already impressive strike rates when they line up at Maitland on Thursday and at Richmond on Friday.
Turbo Thomas (pictured), whose record stands at 17 wins and a second from 19 starts, returns to Maitland, his favourite track, when he will exit box one in a 400m event.
His toughest rival looms as Hardaway Titan, who has won 21 of 31 races, but even that dog's trainer Ron Marsden concedes his dog faces a massive task to defeat the Jason Mackay-trained Turbo Thomas.
Hardaway Titan's best form has been over the Maitland 450m trip and Marsden said: "With Turbo Thomas sitting up in box one it will take a miracle for my dog to beat him.''
Turbo Thomas is undefeated in nine Maitland races where his best 400m time is 21.96, while Hardaway Titan's quickest figures over the same journey are 22.23.
Caviar Quality will be chasing win number 31 in 45 starts in heat two of the time-honoured Kevin Waters Towing Cannonball over 400m at Richmond.
Prepared by crack local trainer Sam Sultana, Caviar Quality faces stern opposition but is expected to lead throughout from box seven.