Get well Len after missing Richmond’s series success
THERE'S an old saying that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.''
The Ipswich Magical Puppy Auction and related race has been a successful concept since 1987.
In 2014, the Richmond club, in Sydney's outer west, introduced an almost identical sale, with pups sold through their auction eligible for a $100,000 to the winner race.
That series concluded last Saturday. And it was won by an Ipswich owned greyhound named Thirty Talks.
The dog is owned by retired businessman Len Antonio who had planned to drive to Richmond to watch the race.
That plan was ruined when, on Wednesday of last week, Antonio crashed his car into a bridge near Fernvale and he ended up in hospital.
High profile Grandchester based Tony Brett trains Thirty Talks for Antonio.
Brett was understandably thrilled when the strong finisher raced away to an easy win the Riches final.
"Most provincial feature race nights, like the Ipswich Auction and City of Ipswich Gold Cup, are something special. But I'd have to say the atmosphere at Richmond last Saturday was really charged, there was a huge crowd and a great buzz about the place.
"I don't know whether some people thought - here we go again, Tony Brett wins a feature race.
"It didn't feel that way, the locals made me most welcome and cheered Len's dog home.
"Len is out of hospital and back home, with his arm in plaster and he's quite battered and bruised.
"We all hope he has a speedy recovery.''
Six of the best
EVEN though Ipswich races every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, it's rare for any trainer to land six winners in a week.
Lowood based Peter Ruetschi did just that over the past seven days.
Last Friday, Ruetschi had two starters for two winners.
On Saturday night he had eight runners and won three races.
Then he had one runner on Tuesday which was a winner.
Among Reutschi's haul was Sizeable winning the John Pay Memorial final last Saturday night.
The dog was a $16.20 chance and beat more fancied runners Bye Bye for Gary Pettersen and Darcy's Fantasy which Ruetschi trains.
Ruetschi accepted the race trophy from Moira Pay, the wife of John Pay, a popular trainer who passed away this time last year.
Ipswich start times
RACING at the Showgrounds today starts at 3.52pm.
Start time for tomorrow's card will be 5.01pm.
Tomorrow will be the third Saturday twilight meeting to be run.
Back on May 21, there was a paltry hold on race one because it clashed with an Adelaide gallops race.
Last Saturday, with some "breathing space'' between the gallops and the first Ipswich event, the win pool was three times higher.
It's all in the timing.
THE grass may be greener on the other side but at least you don't have to mow it.