Dogwatch: 'Good dog' favour repaid
IN an ideal world, one good turn deserves another.
And so it was with Gary Taylor and Darren Russell.
Taylor, an owner, breeder and sometimes trainer, has dabbled in greyhounds for about 40 years. He lives at Beaudesert.
"I had a dog named Inflammable, it was in 2009,'' Taylor said.
"He was handy but when struggling to win a race late in his career I asked Darren if he would train the dog, perhaps to secure another win or two somewhere.
"Darren did his best, the dog ran a couple of seconds at Casino and when we decided to retire him, I asked Darren how much did I owe him. He said, nothing, just give me a good dog one day.''
A few years down the track and that favour has been repaid.
Taylor bred, owns and was training until recently a bitch named Razen Toast, which he started 19 times for three wins, each at Ipswich.
Three months ago, Russell approached Taylor concerning Razen Toast.
"Darren said, I like the look of that bitch with the funny name, is there any chance I could have a go with her for you?'' Taylor said.
"If I get a greyhound who shows promise, it's worked well over the years to pass them on to a more experienced and successful trainer than myself.''
Last Saturday night, Razen Toast, if you will pardon the pun, burned out of box one to score an all the way win in the $40,000 to the winner Rosewood and District Community Bank sponsored Ipswich Magical Auction series final.
Taylor enjoyed great success as an owner with a bitch named Yo Yo String 10 years ago.
Trained by Mick and Selena Zammit, Yo Yo String was a free for all performer in Brisbane and Ipswich. She represented Queensland in the 2004 National Sprint Championship in Perth. She ran sixth to In For Life who won for New South Wales that year.
Yo Yo String produced Tessarina and Inflammable from a litter by then boom sire Bond.
"Tessarina only won two races from 12 starts,'' Taylor said. "She was very much injury prone but did break in as the fastest of her litter. We put her to Collision and the result is the litter which includes Razen Toast.''
Razen Toast won Saturday's group 2 final by three quarters of a length over the fast-finishing In the Picture for Mark Wilkes. Second prizemoney was $10,900.
With a Gee for Sylvia Hawkings collected third prize of $5,450.
First prizemoney was originally listed as $38,150, an unusual amount calculated by control body Racing Queensland as a percentage of the total prize pool for the race.
Somewhat like cricket's Duckworth and Lewis scoring system, prizemoney allocations for greyhound events in Queensland can be a bit hard to follow.
The Ipswich club decided to top up the auction final by injecting an additional $1850 into the race, rewarding the winner with a nice round figure of $40,000.
Taylor concedes that Razen Toast has had more than her fair share of luck in box draws to date.
"That was her fourth win and all have been from box one. She's drawn the one alley seven times from just 22 career starts,'' he said.
Taylor has been trying to win the Ipswich Magical Auction for many years.
"Yo Yo String made it to the final in 2004 but ran fifth to Fool's State. And I've had other runners miss out over the years,'' he recalls.
"I nominated Razen Toast and three others as paid up non catalogue pups at the auction back in 2013, to make them eligible for this year's series.
"It was a real thrill there on Saturday night when Mick Zammit rang up to congratulate us on the win and said that it was thoroughly deserved after so many years of chasing that race.''
Box one edge
RAZEN Toast's win in last Saturday's big feature was, in some respects, against the odds.
She is the first female or bitch to win the Magical Auction final since the Dennis Moore trained Elise Odette back in 2008.
In 27 runnings of the race since its inception in 1989, bitches have won eight and male dogs 19.
In races over 520 metres at Ipswich box one has a distinct advantage over all other draws.
That's not exclusive to Ipswich of course. But it had been 15 years since a Magical Auction final had been won by a runner starting from box one.
The Gary Holmes trained Stylish Bandit scored from box one in the year 2000.
Since then there have been winners of the race from each box of two to eight. But not a number one until Razen Toast last Saturday.
GREAT leaders don't tell you what to do. They show you how it is done.