After capturing the Irish Laurels last Saturday week, Good Cody has run his final race, bowing out in real style. In terms of brute raw pace, there were very few greyhounds in the past decade that could match the son of Definate Opinion.
A dual classic winner and a greyhound that starred over two and four bends, his retirement will come as a real bonus to potential breeders with the brilliant black certain to prove popular at stud given his immense pace, talent and tremendous pedigree.
TALENTED FROM THE START
John Kennedy clearly thought so much of his star from the early days as he began his career in the Juvenile Classic, showing both promise and inexperience before exiting at the semi final stages.
After a couple of educational runs at Limerick and Shelbourne, he was entered for the 2021 Produce Stakes at Clonmel and it was here that he sent out a very clear warning to his future rivals that he was a greyhound of exceptional ability.
His march through the classic was nothing short of sensational. Making all in the opening round, he came home clear in 28.52. A week later, he rocketed to the turn to record a fastest of the round 28.20. Few would have believed he could better that clock but seven days later he posted 28.09, showing the most incredible pace to the third turn.
A poor draw and early traffic ended his hopes in the final as he finished fourth to his kennel companion Explosive Boy but the greyhound racing world was now aware of Good Cody. Connections were left with a decision to make.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Should they go down the Derby route or step him back in trio for a crack at the Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk?
They chose the latter and it was an inspired decision. He immediately took to sprinting, winning in 20.92, 20.91 and 20.92 on his way to the final.
In what boasted a top-class line-up, Good Cody ran clear of his rivals in the decider, emerging four lengths to the good in a brilliant 20.86. After his Produce Stakes disappointment, he was now a classic winner in his very next try.
He also ended 2021 in style, capturing the final Kingdom Derby with a wonderful 28.25 return. He again displayed massive pace into the turn and down the back straight to overcome a bump on the corner.
After a short break, he returned for the Gold Cup at Shelbourne Park and proceeded to make another major final only to find traffic in the decider.
He wasn’t very busy for the next four months, having just a few one-off races but was then stepped up in trip for a crack at the Race of Champions at Tralee. He made yet another major final, finishing second to Bockos Budsit but he had shown enough to suggest that he had the strength to pursue the big prizes over 550yds.
A BRIEF BUT BRILLIANT DERBY CAMEO
After an eye-catching run in the Dundalk International when showing the most incredible back straight pace before finishing third to Explosive Boy, he was aimed at the Derby.
Amongst the favourites ahead of the blue riband, he produced a stunning 29.25 run to post the fastest time of the opening round.
To highlight the quality of the run, his 16.94 split to the third turn was only bettered by one greyhound in the classic. As a result of the run, he was installed favourite, alongside Ballinabola Ed, for Derby glory ahead of the second round.
Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. After a tardy start, he flew into the turn, where he looked set to assume control only to be sent to the ground. His Derby dream was over.
ONTO THE LAURELS
And so, it was onto the Laurels. A 28.05 return in the opening round highlighted his obvious claims in the classic.
He proceeded to make the final with minimum fuss but was handed a tricky draw. In order to capture the €30,000 winner’s purse, he was going to need to produce something special.
That wasn’t a problem for Good Cody. Showing fine pace and track craft, he tracked Serene Ace into the back straight before making his on the final turn. Staying on strongly, he repelled the challenge of Swords Rex and latterly that of Ballymac Whispa.
As it transpired, it would be the last time we would see him on the track. A true superstar, he ended his career with a classic success, the second of his career. He retires at the top of his profession in perfect health, after earning just shy of €70,000 and competing against and beating the very best around.
HARD TO REPLACE
John Kennedy is aware that he will be hard to replace but is excited about the next chapter with Good Cody, saying: "Cody is one the very best dogs I have bred. Right from his very first trial it was clear that he was a very special talent. Right from the start he was a fantatical dog to chase.
“He won two very prestigious classics and was perhaps a bit unlucky not to win more. We have just started a litter from him from a bitch he covered last year. I'm so happy with them that I want to use him soon again, hence his retirement. I think he'll be a great sire. He is a son of Definate Opinion and his dam [Soho Ark] is a sister to Pippy the dam of Good News."
And Pat Guilfoyle, who trained Good Cody for much of his career also spoke in glowing terms of the October ’19 whelp. "Cody has been a brilliant dog for us. It's almost impossible to replace dogs like him especially for a small kennel like ours. Cody came to us as a classic winner and we were delighted to win the Kingdom Derby and Laurels with him.
“Cody is incredibly fast and is as genuine a dog as you'll get. We'll miss him. He is one of many great greyhounds we have got from the Kennedys and I'd like to reiterate our thanks to them. I think Cody will be a great sire. I actually have a lovely litter 12 months old to him which I really like."
A SPECIAL GREYHOUND
There is no doubt Good Cody was a rare talent. He was never overly-raced but displayed versatility and resilience to match his incredible early speed and stunning back straight pace.
Named the 2021 Sprinter of the Year after his Sprint Cup success, he was also a star over 525 and 550yds. Now that really is something special.
The reports of his first crop of youngsters are very encouraging and it’s wonderful we won’t have to wait long to see them in action. If he can throw one or two as fast as himself, he will be a real success at stud.