Extra time to keep city’s auction series going
THE Ipswich Magical Puppy Auction is a time honoured event, first held in 1987 at the Ipswich Showgrounds.
There have been a few hurdles along the way in the 29 years that the sale and related race have been run. But in the end, the show has always gone on.
Right now, there's a delicate position concerning this year's sale.
When nominations closed a fortnight ago, they were well short of the required number for the sale to proceed.
Whether people have baulked at the $100 per pup nomination fee, or it's simply a matter that breeding numbers are down, nobody is sure. It's probably a combination of both factors.
The Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club has decided to allow everyone a little more time to nominate, changed the sale date and extended the age limit by one month so more puppies are eligible.
It's now a case of pups born between August 1, 2015 and May 1 this year are eligible.
The previously advertised cut-off date was April 1 this year. How many pups were born in Queensland in the month of April this year, I'm not sure. But any extras will help.
The date for the sale is now Sunday, September 18.
All pups are eligible for the $40,000 to the winner race series in April, 2018. There's a $2000 bonus for the breeder and the nominator of the race winner.
Nominations close on July 22.
Strong staying field
THE field for tomorrow night's Ipswich Grand Prix looks to be the strongest in recent years.
It's the once a year staying test over 732 metres, for $10,450 in prizemoney.
Ubet has framed a fixed odds market in which Tony Brett's Luna Jinx is the $2.70 favourite.
Andrew Monaghan's Obi Kenobi and Joanne Price's Mullaway are each at $3.00.
There's a full field of eight.
Luna Jinx, Obi Kenobi and Mullaway have come through recent 710 metres races during Albion Park's winter carnival with excellent form. Realistically, as the betting suggests, little separates the trio.
The Grand Prix is race eight at 6.52pm.
Tomorrow's twilight card has a starting time of 4.42pm.
IF you're a regular at the Showgrounds, you will have noticed pictures of an array of Ipswich greyhounds of the year in the bar area.
The pictures date back to the start of greyhound racing at Ipswich in 1982. The 1987 greyhound of the year was Aloa Bay, a brilliant brindle coloured sprinter trained by John Allison who lived at Deception Bay on Brisbane's outer north.
At the time, Ipswich was the only sand or loam track in south-east Queensland.
Aloa Bay raced much better on sand than grass, hence Allison racing the dog at Ipswich despite tracks such as Lawnton and the Gabba being closer to where he lived.
It's sad to report that Allison passed away last week, aged 78. He suffered a stroke in 2013 and had been living in care.
He hadn't trained greyhounds for about 20 years.
At his farewell service, fellow trainers spoke of a man who was very astute with his greyhounds.
"If John declared one and put his money on, they would win most of the time,'' said trainer Jim Conlon.
"I used to back his greyhounds at Lawnton, particularly a great bitch named Samantha Queen. His success at that track was quite amazing,'' said retired trainer Peter Hinds.
Family members spoke of a devoted father, one referring to him as a "good and humble man.''
That's how I found Allison to be, even though I had not seen him for about 10 years.
Best wishes Jinxy
DURING the Aloa Bay era back in the 1980s, the head barman at the Ipswich greyhound track was Pat "Jinxy'' Molloy.
Pat celebrated his 70th birthday last Monday. The Raceview retiree was joined by a large group of friends and well wishers last Saturday for the special occasion.
Back in the 1980s, a packed house was nearly always the case at an Ipswich Saturday night meeting. Jinx kept everything flowing smoothly.
WHEN everything is coming your way, it's probably because you're in the wrong lane.