Greyhounds & Good Times!

Greyhounds & Good Times!

An increase of $4 Million into the coffers of Greyhound Racing should see some great improvements to an extremely popular sport. With Greyhounds being in the spotlight in Queensland, it takes me back to one of my greatest betting spells!

I was lucky enough to have a local track called Powderhall and we would venture up there 3 times a week. It was a great track with a great atmosphere and eventually they would run the Speedway from there too. I (like most punters) would wander along and see all the usual faces, including the so called “Edinburgh Mafia.” (It’s amazing how much credit you give them even though none was due…I was just a youngster at the time and my experiences in later life subsequently brought their images back down to earth.)

I got to know a man by the name of Eddie Clark who was a real gentleman. Eddie gave me my first big contract as a small up and coming builder and I got incredible jobs in Edinburgh, working on numerous historic buildings throughout the city. Eddie’s passion away from work was his greyhounds and his ambition was to win The Edinburgh Cup!

I would turn up every Friday lunchtime at Eddies office like clockwork, making sure my cheque was signed before he started on the Friday night champagne at Powderhall. I was young, starting on my own and he looked out for me. So, Eddies dream started slow, with failed attempts at buying greyhounds from Ireland for a go at the Edinburgh Cup. He eventually got a decent dog and was keen to let everyone know “I have the Cup winner!” Of course, it mostly fell on deaf ears as we’d heard it all before, but I was young, and I was listening.

So, the heats get started. I had received my Friday cheque and Eddie pipes up “Don’t forget to bet the dog!” So, taking Eddie’s advice I was on at 20/1. It qualifies and on we go. To this day I think the Bookie gave me unders and I was very green…

Next heat, same comment, “Bet the dog!” but this time I replied, “I already have!” Not to be outdone he barks back “Do it again!” so in we go and we qualify again!

So, it’s the night of the Cup, Eddie’s in great form and I have a right few bob running. I see him on the night and the dog is 10/1. “Roy, get in again!” so I’m on again at 10/1 and the rest is history…EDDIE CLARK WINS THE EDINBURGH CUP!

It’s still the first thing he says when you meet up 30 years later. I won what was considered a fortune at the time and turned up on Monday morning with a brand-new Ford transit van! The business was flying now!


Now it’s my turn!

After such an exciting experience, I ended up asking Eddie to get me a greyhound! He said he was going over to Ireland and that he would bring one back for me. I had won so much money and of course I trusted his judgement, so I just let him go and pick one out for me. So now I have a new van and a greyhound! His name was Doves Choice. He was a big, scared thing and at first, I wasn’t really attached to him. He ran his trials and then some races and was hopeless, so I spoke to Eddie and he told me to go give the trainer a gee up.

When I visited the kennels on the Sunday I found Doves covered in ticks! I did more than give her a gee up – I threw him in the back of the van and took him home for some TLC. I lived close to the beach in Edinburgh (I mean, what I would call a beach back then but now that I’m on the Sunshine Coast, not so much!). So, I would walk Doves every day and run him on the beach. After a month he was sleeping on my couch, eating the best grub and fighting fit!

I put him back to the kennel, gave the trainer strict instructions and the next thing you know, he goes on to win his trail and his next 3 races! He was flying through the grades, and I was getting all the great prices because the trainers’ nose was out of joint and wouldn’t talk the dog up – I got the price I wanted every time!

It came to crunch time and the kennel had two going in the same race, the other belonging to one of the afore mentioned “Edinburgh Mafia.” I was pretty good at keeping my emotions in check when betting and about the dog’s chances. On this occasion I had been very strict with the trainer and never missed a visit. She told me we couldn’t beat the #5 dog, so I asked her: “Is Doves running on all merits?” When she answered “Yes” I told her with certainty that he would beat #5 to the corner, kick two clear and win easy.

The whole night everyone kept coming up to me, asking about Doves and I would tell them “He’ll win” and every one of them laughed and walked away. Some would say “Edna (trainer) says he won’t win!” and obviously the team in the same camp were told they would win. Knowing they were trying was fantastic for me as I loved forecasts, boosting the odds. I got 9/2, 5/1, 11/2 and finally 6/1 as they lumped onto Sherrys Star in trap 5. I also did the forecast 3 and 5 for a large slice.

The traps open, Doves leads to the corner, kicks two clear and wins easy! Sherrys Star, fully charged, finishes second and it’s A DOUBLE PAY DAY for me! After the race, the only other person to back Doves was Eddie Clark so we had a fill up! Afterwards I had all the naysayers return to admit “You told us it would win!”

I had an exciting time working with Doves Choice and it gave me great insight into the industry. You need to respect your dog – they will give you 110% and if you’re in the game make sure you enjoy it. It’s a fantastic sport and I’m thinking about buying one in Brissy…watch this space!


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