Noduff Sahara

by DROOPYS SYDNEY out of CICERO whelped 9.12.21

Form (GBGB)

Form (GR Ireland)

Pedigree (Greyhound-Data)

Race videos are listed at the bottom of this page

Otto was purchased at a Greyhound Trader online sale in June 2023. He was unraced with just two official marks on his card – 28.95 and 28.73 both at Curraheen Park, Cork. He is with Chris Fereday at Monmore Green. His grading trials proved eventful. He checked at the sough when moving well to win over 480m and losing at least four lengths in the process. He then gathered himself and ran on strongly to go down by just a short head before racing clear to the pickup. In his next four bend trial he was cut off by the dog in front and essentially had to hurdle that runner, costing further lengths. We weren’t sure whether the grader would require another trial on the back of those efforts but he didn’t and Otto graded with a 29.06.

His debut came from trap 3 in an A4. He ran very promisingly, running middle throughout, finding some trouble at the second bend but running on very well to finish third in 28.91. His performance was noted by the pundits and, given likely improvement as a December 2021 pup, he would hopefully go close next time out.

In fact Otto broke his duck on his third attempt in A4, taking the lead at the last bend and coming home in 28.73. He ran on very strongly suggesting a staying career was a real possibility further down the line.

It took two runs in A3 for him to win again, improving his best time to 28.60. The opportunity arose to run in a valuable OR3 puppy race at Monmore so he was entered and ran with great credit, finishing second to an extremely promising dog and qualifying for the final the following week. Otto reduced his best time again in the process to 28.51. In the final he drew trap 5, which wasn’t ideal and found much trouble whilst running with credit.

In an attempt to avoid being drawn so wide again we then gave him a solo trial and he was noted as running middle to rails, coming home in a fast 28.43. Whilst that exercise might pay dividends further down the line, it didn’t immediately as he was again drawn out of the bag last of four middle runners for the next OR3 and again ran from trap 5. Backed on the night from 5/1 into 9/4 he trapped well, was forced to check twice but still finished to great effect to win in 28.69 and lose his maiden tag whilst not having competed in a graded race higher than A3!

Next up was the Peter Billingham Memorial Trophy over four bends at Otto’s home track Monmore and he kicked off with a very creditable second to a top-rated puppy in Skywalker Pele, recording 28.51. In the final Otto missed the break and found every inch of trouble imaginable, trailing home in fifth in a time of 28.65 which underlined the quality of the event.

A one-off valuable open followed and Otto didn’t disappoint, finishing with a characteristic rattle to get up on the line and win.

With a week off from open race action, there was the opportunity of a rare graded contest and he took his place in a good A1, coming home strongly and just failing to justify favouritism having had to check twice in running.

The plan was always to take him to Towcester for the Puppy Derby – a four round OR1 competition featuring the best pups in the country. His preparation included a solo trial then two one-off opens at the track. He didn’t win either but again showed that the further he goes the stronger he runs. In the first round he was badly baulked at the first bend and found himself last at halfway but ran on very strongly to finish second and qualify for the next round. A very hard heat saw him miss his break and get outpaced early before finishing strongly and just missing out in fourth. His was the fastest heat and he would have qualified had he run in any of the other three!

Plan B was called for and with trainer Chris Fereday committed to travelling to Hove it was decided that Otto would take a chance there over the further extended distance of 515m. That would likely be his last attempt at four bend open racing with a move up to six bends called for in early 2024.

Otto’s first trial at Hove was respectable but he inexplicably went backwards a bit in his second and, as a consequence, he was only reserve for the Olympic. Plan C therefore came into operation and he ran in an A1 at Monmore to keep him ticking over. He ran only modestly again (for him) so the next weekend he was upped to a 630m maiden open. Not only did he win, he had to do it the hard way from behind after early crowding. He clearly stayed the trip strongly and six bends is where his future lies.

To take advantage of the trials at Hove Otto was entered for a 695m race at Hove on Olympic night just before Christmas. It was a long wait until the penultimate race. He produced a one-paced effort and while not being disgraced, it looked as if the trip was slightly too far for him. The decision was made to try Oxford next and the somewhat easier trip of 650m.

Otto didn’t seem to run Oxford particularly well so it was decided to keep him at Monmore for the time being. This paid off when he led all the way in his next open to make it two from two over the distance. It was very nearly three from three as you’ll see if you watch the video of 20.1.24. He led early only to have his heels clipped, drop back to last and still nearly win!

We kept Otto to decent class open races but he was possibly too hightly tried and so he was given a break to return in four bend graded races at Monmore. The first of those was certainly eventful with Otto ripping the buttonholes of his jacket when emerging from the traps and then having the jacket flap behind him for a whole circuit and a half! Fortunately no harm was done and it may even have been good for him to run against a windsock!

Noduff Sahara’s race videos in date order