Caption: Northern NSW trainer Sarah Monaghan with her incredible sprinter Steamy Windows after her maiden win, at Casino (Photo: Lisa Vanderstok)
(Each month Chase puts the spotlight on a person and/or their ‘best friend’ – a story that gives an insight into the true heart of greyhound racing. It showcases all that is good in this sport and is a monthly tribute to much-loved greyhound identity Daryl ‘Albert’ Gleeson)
In late January NSW Northern Rivers greyhound photographer Lisa Vanderstok sent into Chase details and photos around the incredible story of Steamy Windows. Soon after, celebrated industry journalist Jeff Collerson ‘penned’ the heart-warming story for GRNSW’s The Dogs website. Here are Jeff’s words and Lisa’s photo – the perfect example of The True Heart of Greyhound Racing.
By GRNSW’s JEFF COLLERSON
Steamy Windows, who won over 300m at Casino on January 20, is a greyhound miracle because she lives without a spleen.
Trained by Andrew and Sarah Monaghan in the NSW Northern Rivers, Steamy Windows and her litter brother Trapped are raced by a syndicate of seven headed by Townsville’s Darren Humphries.
“Steamy Windows and Trapped were unraced but running such fast times in trials before last year’s Grafton carnival their owners were offered $80,000, and then $100,000 for them in a package deal,” Sarah Monaghan said.
“Then, one morning, Steamy Windows was in agony and I suspected she had suffered a twisted bowel.
“But an ultrasound revealed her spleen was the problem and the veterinary surgeon removed it, tying her stomach to her rib cage so she could survive.
“It was a complex operation and the chances of her ever racing were remote.
“But thanks to regular blood testing and the infusion of plenty of iron Steamy Windows has bounced back, finishing second at her first start before winning week at Casino.
“As she races without a spleen it is unlikely Steamy Windows will be able to compete in races longer than 300m or perhaps 400m which is a pity because she was going to be a star.
“Trapped has had 14 starts for seven wins and three placings but Steamy Windows could always beat him when we trialled them together as youngsters.”
Darren Humphries, who raced the 2003 group 1 Adelaide Cup winner Waterview Star, is philosophical about his greyhound’s rare setback.
“Steamy Windows is a daughter of the Maitland 400m record holder Precious Sal so is highly valuable from a breeding viewpoint,” Humphries said.
“Sarah and Andrew Monaghan had been given the task of whelping Precious Sal’s October, 2019, litter to Fernando Bale and when they told me they were for sale I put a syndicate together and bought Trapped and Steamy Windows.
“And the name? When these pups were trialling the house down I was still waiting on their names to be registered and was getting anxious, thinking their careers could be delayed.
“When I called to inquire what was happening I was told a couple of the names we had submitted were taken so to hurry things along I nominated a couple over the phone, including Steamy Windows, which was a hit song for Tina Turner.” (Since Jeff wrote this story Steamy Windows was placed first and second at her next two starts, both at Casino over 300m)