As this column has featured in the past, syndication can prove an ideal avenue for those taking their first steps into greyhound ownership and this week we meet the Lamabad Syndicate from Dublin whose participation was sparked by social nights out at the dogs and is now maintained by the wonderful Tucker Foley who continues his marvellous winning ways despite having reached veteran status.
Now with their second racing representative, Dave Keane is at the helm for four members and describes the formation of the syndicate for their first runner, Prince Of Honey. “God I didn’t think it was so long ago but Prince Of Honey was our first dog in 2002! We are all from around the Dublin area and know each other from all the way back in college and even school. We were always fans of greyhound racing and would often go to Shelbourne Park on night’s out, saying to ourselves that we’ll have to get involve in a dog some day.
“So Liam Mulholland was in the syndicate to to start with and he was the only one of us who had dogs before. He knew Delores Ruth so approached her to get a dog for us and that was Prince Of Honey. He was a very decent dog, competing around A1 level and won four races but he unfortunately got injured in a gallop and his career ended too early when he was going so well.
“We left it for a few years then, and it honestly didn’t feel like it was so long, before we decided to go again. There was a bit of disappointed after losing Prince Of Honey but we were always going to have another dog and this time we approached Paul Hennessy and explained that we were a syndicate looking for a dog to run in Dublin, even though we’d travel anywhere really. We put no pressure on him to find us a dog in a hurry or anything, just a matter of when he came across something suitable.
“He then found Tucker Foley and he had a few races before Paul spotted him in Kilkenny. I must say, the Hennessy’s are brilliant to deal with. They could have dogs running in the big events anywhere around the country with Tucker in his A1 race at Shelbourne but you will still get an answer from Paul every time you text to ask anything. They have a lot of high profile dogs and owners in the kennels but they would make you feel as important as any of them.”
An August 2013 whelp, Tucker Foley is now officially a veteran in racing terms but retains an admirable level of form in a career that has deliver 19 race wins for his adoring syndicate. An accomplished breaker from traps, he possesses top class early pace and is one of those thoroughly genuine dogs with whom you almost invariably know what he will bring to a race every night.
He has just a single AA0 race win to his name but a glance through his profile will reveal that he has raced and competed exceptionally well with some of Ireland’s most talented trackers and he recently gained some much deserved reward when claiming final victory in the Greyhound & Petworld A1 Stake at Cork.
In great form at present, Tucker Foley may have suffered defeat at Shelbourne Park on Saturday last but again displaying his slick early pace, he posted one of his best times for 525 yards when second and Dave recounts his career with no thoughts of retirement just yet.
“Ah we’ve had great fun and great times with both dogs but especially with Tucker Foley and even form the very start he won his first race for us at Shelbourne which we didn’t really expect, we were delighted. But in his very next race then he got a very heavy bump and it seemed to knock his confidence for a while. He struggled in a few races after it but Paul just took his time with him and we took the wide seed off him at that time too.
“When he was back to form then we tried sprinting him and he didn’t win a sprint at that time but he clocked 18.67 one night in an S1 and was beaten a length by Ballymac Bigmike! Sure even Paul was saying afterwards, what were the chances of running into a dog like him on that particular night.
“But he’s back at 525 yards now and his form is as good as ever. Winning the stake in Cork was brilliant and it was great to get a victory like that for Tucker’s own sake. That was a great sponsorship too when you see €5000 for the winner and it filled the syndicate account up nicely!
“He has won good prizemoney in total, over €11,000 now and he has funded a trip to Cheltenham for us. We’re going for the big November meeting and the whole weekend will be paid for from the syndicate account. So he has given us a free holiday, and there will still be a few quid left in the kitty!
“No, we haven’t spoke about retiring him yet and I suppose it will just be a case of wait and see how his form holds up. He has had a few injury layoffs in his career but clearly there is nothing ailing him right now. I don’t know how long more he’ll go for but he’s still in great form for now. The thing with Tucker is his breaking. He nearly always breaks well and on any given night he could clear any dog to the bend. While he’s still doing that, he can still win races.”
Already named when purchased by the Lamabad Syndicate, Dave reveals that rather than being a famous individual or figure of folklore, his research has found Tucker Foley to be an American cartoon character while the naming of the syndicate is a simple play on the members initials and nothing relating to the capital city of Pakistan!
Those members included Liam Mulholland at the outset but remaining four, Liam has been replaced by Anthony Greene who joins Dave Keane, Michael Gillen and Bren O’Reilly, and the syndicate looks set to remain intact even beyond Tucker Foley’s retirement.
“Yes we’ll go again. We’ll enjoy the rest of Tucker’s career and let the dust settle when he retires but we dipped the toe with Delores and Prince Of Honey, had a great time even though it ended too soon but now with Paul we’ve had a wonderful experience again. All the lads I’m sure will go again next time and there could even be a second syndicate forming with friends that have seen the success we’ve had with Tucker.”
A truly wonderful servant to all connections, any kennels would be proud to have Tucker Foley amongst their racing contingent. He is a credit to all involved while maintaining his high level of form beyond four years of age and also maintaining a presence in greyhound racing for his proud syndicate.
We wish Tucker Foley all the best of luck for the remainder of his career and extend the same good wishes for his syndicate who formed from enjoying nights out at the dogs. They are a shining example to point towards when reminding all in the sport that we must continue to welcome and encourage new race goers at every turn, extending our welcoming hand because they could well be the next Lamabad Syndicate with a wonderful greyhound like Tucker Foley.