Tears Of Joy After Biddell Lands First Winner

WHEN Jacob Biddell checked his phone after his first winner, it was no surprise that Jamie Kah was the first to send a message of congratulations.

Mick Floyd

27 June 2022

WHEN Jacob Biddell checked his phone after training his first winner on Saturday night, it was no surprise that leading jockey Jamie Kah was the first to send a message of congratulations.

Biddell, 23, cheered as Teflon Tears pinged to the lead at Warragul to claim his first win as a greyhound trainer just months after gaining his licence.

On the other side of the world, his good friend – and part owner – Jamie Kah shared in the celebrations.

“I was just very excited really,” said Biddell.

“The first message I got was from Jamie, she’s overseas at the moment, and she said, ‘well done’. I was like … how are you even awake, what time is it in Croatia!”

Biddell works as a track rider for Cranbourne trainer Lloyd Kennewell, continuing his lifelong association with thoroughbred racing. He was introduced to the sport through his family – his grandmother was a trainer – riding trackwork for Kennewell in South Australia before following the stable across to Victoria in 2019.

Later that year, he was introduced to his first greyhound, adopting ‘Mickey’ and has been part of the family since.

“I always interested in them as a pet,” Biddell added.

“Being into racing, and always wanting a dog, I thought I’d give it a go and I just feel in love with the breed, I just thought they were the best dogs ever.

“Then I thought maybe I could give greyhound training a go and it just went from there really.”

Citing muscle man Rob Cunningham as a valued mentor, Biddell balanced his thoroughbred commitments in the morning while learning the greyhound game in the afternoons.

Earlier this year, he made the move to train his first greyhound, adapting the facilities at Jamie Kah’s Sommerville property to suit his canine requirements.

“Jamie’s got a track here for the horses. It’s got a bit of a straight where she trots up and canters them around so I use the straight to gallop my dogs so I don’t have to take them to Cranbourne all the time,” he added.

“She’s got a horse walker and I put them on there sometimes. I remember the stewards came and they asked, ‘do they get scared going on the horse walker’ and I said ‘no’ and I showed them they went straight on.

“We also have a pool – not for the horses but for us – and they have a swim in there sometimes too, so a little bit of everything.”

When it came to finding his first dog, Biddell opted to learn on a tried greyhound and searched the net for the right candidate. With the right dog identified, it was time to find some owners.

“I saw him (Teflon Tears) online. I looked through his bloodlines because I like to study bloodlines, I looked at his litter mates and thought he  was promising. I thought it would be a good for me to start off with a dog that’s had race experience but was lightly raced.

“I spoke to Jamie and said that I really want to get this dog. She said ‘I’ll buy a share in him’ but also said that I need to sell to as many people as I can because it would be a good experience for me to do all the training part and to find owners. I sent it to all the jockeys and asked, ‘who wants to buy a share in a dog’ and they all put their hands up.”

Among the ownership group involved in Teflon Tears are Lloyd Kennewell’s wife, Melissa and Clayton Douglas, Richie O’Donohue, Daryl Horner and April Matthews, and some of Kennewell’s thoroughbred owners, all of which are new to the greyhound code.

His second greyhound, an unraced bitch by Fernando Bale, is owned by a group of family and friends who are also experiencing greyhound ownership for the first time.

“Most people are pretty keen – the first question is usually how much is it going cost? But most of the people that have shares in Teflon Tears are good friends and they want to support me which is great.

“It’s great getting new people involved and show how much we care for the animals, and I’m going to continue to do it.”

While Biddell has no plans to stop riding track work – he loves the horses too much to give it away – he does have plans to train a few more dogs.

“I’ve got my eye on a little of pups from the same bloodline as Teflon Tears, so when Jamie gets home I’ll ask to get some more and see what she says!”