Banjup trainer John Carmody is Western Australia’s very own charming Irishman. Unlike most, Carmody has two very special ladies that he can call his own- his wife Diane and sprinter Meroslava.
“Women, they are incredible!” John Carmody confessed.
Meroslava will face one of her biggest challenges to date in the heats of the Group 2 All Stars Sprint at Cannington on Saturday night.
The red-fawn bitch by Did I Entertain out of Emzie has found herself up against Mandurah Cup winner Te Amo, National Sprint representative Rumbling Rick and talented chaser Sveta Monelli.
“I do think it is a very difficult heat she has drawn, it has lots of early pace.”
“I think box three is a good box for her in that field, but she will have to be on her toes to match this lot going down the straight to the first bend.”
“When she has won she has always lead and I can’t really see her leading in this heat.”
John Carmody rates Linda Britton’s duo, Rumbling Rick and Te Amo, as the dogs that pose the biggest challenge in his heat.
“Te Amo has a great chance, she is doing her best work at the moment,”
After an injury-induced spell on the sidelines, Rumbling Rick is making his return to the Cannington racetrack and Carmody believes that his time off won’t hinder his chances of taking out the heat.
“I think he will come into this pretty fresh and ready to rock and roll,”
“He has the time on the board and is a proven big time performer.”
Minus one toe, Meroslava will have her work cut out for her. Early on in her career, the 30-kilo bitch fell victim to the Cannington racetrack, breaking her toe.
Carmody spent most of the night in tears because he was worried her racing career had come to a sudden end.
“We went to the vet to have it x-rayed and it was in that many pieces it just couldn’t be put back together, so the decision was made to take the toe off.”
“It’s on her front foot, the first toe, so it puts pressure on the rest of them,”
“I think she has done extremely well to have won the races that she has won with that toe off, it’s the most important toe.”
Her more than pleasing efforts have seen her rein victory on 10 occasions and collect 10 minor placing’s from 32 starts.
Her biggest moment in greyhound racing came when she defeated WA’s fastest greyhound, On Coin, in the Westchase final.
Meroslava jumped quickly from box eight on that occasion and led the field all the way to the line. To add to the excitement she also recorded a personal best time of 30.46.
Both Diane and John Carmody could not believe their bitch had won the final, giving her little to no chance before the race.
“We didn’t give her the best chance with On Coin in the race, he is capable of running all sorts of times.”
“She put the right foot forward that night,”
“I was quiet excited about it, really because she is a WA bred dog and I think we should all be trying to breed in WA.”
The decision to put Did I Entertain over Emzie was made after the dog made a short visit to Carmody’s kennels.
“He stopped with me for three weeks for the Nationals and I saw how much of a lovely temperament the dog had.”
“He was a beautiful kennel dog,”
“He is a brother to Bit Chili, a full brother in blood, but a later litter.”
“I had a good look at his form in New South Wales, he was a very well performed dog in Sydney but severely underrated,”
John Carmody believes he got everything he expected out of the Did I Entertain-Emzie litter.
“They are all really nice kennel dogs. They don’t even get off their beds when you bring the food in; they just wait until you put the dish on the floor.”
“This (Meroslava) little girl is very close to me and she is a very good looking bitch with a beautiful temperament so she will not be parting from me.”
“She is my pet really.”
Carmody has cut down to six race dogs in his kennel, the lowest number of dogs he has had in a decade. He believes age is catching up on him and he would also like to take a few more holidays.
“Old age slows you down a bit,”
“You do have to realise that when you get to my age, you’re just not able to do the amount of dogs you were once able to do.”
Despite reducing his number of race dogs, Carmody wants to continue to breed with his bitch Emzie.
“I want to mate her to Kinloch Brae next.”
“There are great wraps on Kinloch Brae, he is an American sire standing at stud in Ireland.”
Carmody recently brought two, five-month-old Kinloch Brae puppies. He is more then impressed with there get up and go attitude.
“I thought that he might add more fire in Emzies pups, so I will take the chance and go to Kinloch Brae.”
Carmody began training greyhounds the day that Cannington opened it’s gates. Although he took a break away from greyhound racing, his love for the game brought him back after two years.
“I have always loved the sport.”
Nothing would make Carmody happier than to see Meroslava lead this talented heat but, with a field of fast beginners, she is going to have to be at her best.
“I would have been confident in making the final if I had an easier heat but I think this a particularly good heat.”
“Her best time is down the back straight, if she can lead, she will pull away from them there, but she does weaken a bit running to the line,”
“It has got so many good beginners in it, she is going to find it difficult.”