A broken leg – suffered in a football match during the mid-1960s – has proved the catalyst behind Peter Giles’ myriad greyhound racing triumphs.
An aspiring young footballer in the Latrobe Valley league, Giles was only 19 years old when his leg snapped while playing for Moe.
It was an unlucky break at the time, but it also heralded the beginning of an illustrious career in greyhound racing.
“I was one of those footballers who ‘wasn’t watching if I wasn’t playing’,” Giles said.
“So, while I was on the sidelines, I started going to greyhound racing meetings at Warragul, which then raced on Saturdays”.
“At one particular meeting, I took a giveaway from the late Les Foran and, although I never won a race with her, she recorded 13 placings”.
“I’ll never forget her name, it was Wingette.”
Giles added that his first venture into greyhound racing really got the adrenalin pumping, and soon after he leased a female greyhound named Full Up from Hugh Dunkley.
“I’ve been hooked on the sport ever since,” Giles said.
However, Giles was lost to the sport for nearly a decade after forming a partnership in a new car franchise in Moe during the 1980s.
But the dealership didn’t work out, and from that unlucky break – although not as painful as his broken leg – Giles once again came out on top.
In 1989, Giles purchased a couple of brood matrons, and since then has enjoyed a phenomenal run of success.
From the late-’80s to mid-’90s, Giles was also associated with top liners such as Floodgate, Barwidgee Bill, Acacia Dee, Leader’s Club, Mr Giles, Tanjil Warrior and Initiative.
But it was City Blitz’s 1995 Group 1 Melbourne Cup victory which really kick-started the Giles juggernaut.
City Blitz also shared 1995 Victorian Greyhound of the Year honours with Bonjase.
Dubbed the “Moe maestro”, Giles also has a phenomenal record in the Traralgon Cup.
Giles has won the race on four occasions – Power Thriller (1998), Floodfawn (2001), Our Barney (2003) and Amaroo Gift (2004).
And he starts his quest for a fifth ‘hometown cup’ with Winoki and Spence’s Shadow in heats of the Group 2 Chris Humphrey Office National Traralgon Cup (513m) on Friday.
The $26,000-to-the-winner final will be decided on Friday, September 19.
There is a saying that “all a man needs is a lucky break in life”.
But you make your own luck – broken leg or not – and there’s no better example in greyhound racing than Peter Giles.