Greyhound trainers are certainly dedicated to the cause and this is certainly the case for Stratheden based trainer Peter Simpson.
Stratheden is in northern NSW and last week, Simpson drove the 19 hours to Townsville to take part in the Group Three Townsville Cup heats. The results certainly paid off as he qualified two runners for the final in Pace Ventura and Glamour Row.
The performances of these two greyhounds surprised Simpson as they didn’t handle the long trip all that well.
“It was a 19 hour drive from northern NSW, it was a fairly big trip. I am really happy with how both dogs performed as they weren’t travelling that crash hot so the way they performed, they went well. I thought we would be travelling back home after the heats as I didn’t think they would go any good”, Simpson told ARG.
Simpson has the good fortune of staying in Townsville during the week to prepare for the final and he couldn’t be more pleased with how his stay has been.
“We stopped here at Townsville this week and the dogs have really blossomed. It’s our first time here and the people and the club have been fantastic.”
As for his two finalists chances, Pace Ventura can show a lot of pace but isn’t overly strong. He is a greyhound by Run’s House and Sniveller (Bombastic Shiraz – Georgia Brown) who has had 20 starts for nine wins and six placings around Casino, Lismore and Wentworth Park. Glamour Row was a surprise heat winner last week and the bitch by Go Wild Teddy and Rose Chalice (Surf Lorian – Glass Placard) is expected to find it tough from the squeeze draw. She has had 18 wins and 13 minors from 52 starts and has performed well at Townsville, Casino, Lismore and Grafton.
Simpson see’s the race as another opportunity for NSW to steal the spoils from Queensland after securing the State of Origin this year and jokingly admits the people may chase him out of town if one of his greyhounds was lucky enough to win:
“It would be great for NSW, after winning the State of Origin, to take the Townsville Cup off them! Maybe the Mayor will hand me the keys to Townsville if I win or maybe they will run me out of town!”
After the Townsville Cup final, Simpson will make the long trek back to northern NSW and will set his charges for the upcoming Casino Cup.