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One of the youngest ever winners of the Oaks could target the Derby next

ALL SMILES: Amy Hawes celebrates Wuheida's Oaks victory with other connections at Belle Vue: Picture: Steve Nash
ALL SMILES: Amy Hawes celebrates Wuheida's Oaks victory with other connections at Belle Vue: Picture: Steve Nash

Amy Hawes purchased Wuheida as a memorial — a way of honouring the memory of her greyhound-loving grandfather — but now she has one of the youngest ever Oaks winners.

The project manager from Newmarket had thought long and hard about what to do with some money given to her by her grandparents.

And, when her grandfather died, the 28-year-old decided that the best way to remember him would be to continue his passion for greyhound racing.

She purchased the January 2016 dog at the start of the year and has already enjoyed an impressive scalp.

Wuheida ran home the victor of the bitches’ Classic on December 13, as she beat race favourite Ballydoyle Maura into third place.

She is one of the youngest ever winners at Belle Vue, the venue for the annual race, and has also landed her trainer one of his biggest successes in the sport.

Wuheida is jointly-owned, with the Sharp family also sharing the joy with Hawes, and is kennelled with greyhound trainer Phillip Simmonds in Cambridge.

Hawes invested in the racer on the basis of her breeding but admitted she didn’t have much knowledge to base it on.

She said: “For a first-time greyhound owner, I’ve enjoyed a lot of success already, it’s incredible.

“And I think it’s more down to Phil Simmonds than anything I’ve done really. They have done tremendous work.

“Wuheida wouldn’t be at the stage she is without their work at the kennels, I’m just so thankful for everything they’ve done so far.

“My dad already had a greyhound with him and that’s why we took Wuheida there, but I’m very happy with that decision.”

She said the dog was resting over Christmas and no decisions had yet been made on where she will next race, although Hawes hinted at a 2018 attempt at the Derby — the premier race in the greyhound racing diary.

“Running the Derby would be amazing,” she said. “We’re going to see if we can get her a spot next year, but we’ll see.”

She added she was enjoying her introduction to the greyhound community, which she has found ‘social and friendly’.

She thinks her grandad would be very proud to see her making a success in the industry.

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