Withcott Wizard restores Maroons pride in Pledger
SOME limited Queensland success was enjoyed at last weekend's two-day Border Park Tweed Heads Galaxy carnival.
The $20,000 to the winner Galaxy was won by Pierino, trained by Glenda Dart from the NSW Northern Rivers region.
The Queenslanders in the Galaxy final - Dayseas Jet, Simmerley and Are They Now - finished fourth, fifth and sixth.
There was better fortune for the "Maroons" in the other feature of the day, the $10,000 to the winner Harry Pledger Cup over 520m on Monday.
Les Bein and four mates, who are regulars at the Withcott Hotel at the foot of the Toowoomba range, own Withcott Wizard, who romped home at $13. Withcott Wizard is trained by Bob Giltinan.
"Neil Simpson, the Withcott publican, is in on the dog," Bein said. "So is Bob Pohlner, his brother 'Rooster', Mark Dorge and myself.
"I'm not a regular at Border Park and didn't know Harry Pledger personally. But I know he was a legend in racing administration and it was really nice to meet some of the family there on Monday."
A COUPLE of weeks ago there was a two-dog race at Ballarat in Victoria. It came about when a field of seven was reduced by five scratchings.
I recall a two-dog clash at the Gabba in Queensland in 1974, when superstar of that era Top Simbi narrowly won a match race against another boom dog of that time, Zepplin King.
And what about the "famous" match race at Ipswich between Wendy's Idol and Tookem Inn?
Who are they, you might ask?
They were a pair of average fifth-graders, racing in 1987.
I had a share with the late Danny Ryan in Wendy's Idol, whose only win was in a 370m maiden at Lawnton.
Trainer Margaret Quarrell never suggested Wendy's Idol was the slowest greyhound she trained but certainly she was one of the slowest. A game little trier but that was about it.
At the time, a trainer from the Gold Coast, Ron Robinson, had an equally average greyhound named Tookem Inn.
Ron and Danny and I used to joke about whose greyhound was the worst.
One night over a cold ale at Ipswich we dreamt up the idea of a match race between the pair.
Ipswich manager Chris Williams ran with the plan and the event was promoted as the "battle of the battlers".
It was in the days when Ipswich used to get large crowds to Saturday night racing. There were competitions on the match race and the place was packed.
There were T-shirts which had "Wendy's My Idol" on them, and "We Tookem Inn" caps.
Ipswich club member Tom McClurg caught Tookem Inn and fellow member Dave Burren caught Wendy's Idol, and both were attired accordingly.
Quarrell brought Wendy's Idol on to the track on a stretcher to save the bitch's strength for the 520m race.
Wendy's Idol won by a narrow margin to prove Ron Robinson had the slowest fifth-grader in Queensland at the time.
It wasn't a betting race, as such, but certainly a lot of fun.
The roar of the crowd as the pair of battlers raced neck and neck down the back straight was amazing.
Glen Carrington pointed out a two-dog race at Ipswich more recently.
Glen and his wife, Patricia, had Paddy Bell in a field of six at a Tuesday TAB meeting in August 2009.
There were four scratchings, leaving only the Rob Greensill-trained Big Baz up against Paddy Bell.
In the betting, Paddy Bell was the $1.30 favourite with Big Baz at $2.20.
Paddy Bell jumped to the lead but was never more than about one length in front. Big Baz narrowed the margin to a neck at the finish.
A common denominator in both the Gabba and Ipswich two-dog races is that each produced a close finish.
More examples of two-dog races will probably emerge. But I don't know of any others in this neck of the woods.
DATES for greyhound racing at Ipswich these past few weeks have been, perhaps, a little hard to follow.
Things are still somewhat out of the ordinary.
There's twilight racing today, none tomorrow night, but there is an additional meeting on Monday night.
Some major electrical work needs to be done at Albion Park, hence the transfer of the Monday-night card to Ipswich.
The Ipswich club decided not to race tomorrow night as Ipswich Cup day at the Bundamba racecourse is the social highlight this weekend.
Saturday night racing will resume at the showgrounds on June 22.
Every year I try to select the winner of the Ipswich Cup, with little success.
However, I'm going to try to overturn my extremely poor record this year.
Believing that a change of luck is long overdue, I'm going to select Za Magic whose current price is $10. If any bookies read this, they will probably lengthen the horse's price.
CELEBRITY tipster Berrick Barnes had one placegetter from two selections last week for a collect of $70 to be put towards the Greyhound Adoption program.
His bets for today's Ipswich twilight meeting are $25 each way on race four, No.8 Sundance Calypso; and race six, No.4 Miss Karoo.
WHY is an unhappy person disgruntled but someone who is happy isn't "gruntled"?