At a gala AGRA Awards night held at the Royal On The Park Hotel in Brisbane Queensland the Australian Greyhound Racing Association last Friday night announced Dyna Tron the winner of the 2011 AGRA Australian Greyhound of the Year.
It was a night of nights on the National scene with Delegates and club members coming together from all over Australia to celebrate the AGRA Awards night.
Hosted by the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club and led by CEO Luke Gatehouse and his extremely competent team they staged a glittering affair in the hotel's ballroom in a beautiful part of the city down close to the Brisbane River. Each state that has staged the event since 2006, have gone to great lengths to put on an outstanding show.
New South Wales owned and Victorian trained sprint sensation Dyna Tron won the Greyhound the Year from fellow Victorian stayer Bobby Boucheau and Queensland's favourite race dog Dashing Corsair.
The winner was selected by panel of judges consisted of administrators and media representatives from each state and a group of national media representatives from Print, Radio and Television. The panel was asked to allocate votes 3, 2 and 1 to the three finalists in order of each judge's preference in a secret vote.
Accepting the award from Sky Racings Mark Duclos owner Paul Wheeler expressed what a fantastic year 2011 had been for his kennel and everyone involved in his large scale operation particularly his hard working family members headed by his wife Jan, who was also in attendance at the awards night. Wheeler singled out particular praise for Dyna Tron's trainers the Dailly's for the outstanding job they had achieved in the training department. It was Paul Wheeler's first AGRA Greyhound of the Year award and it will take pride of place in his trophy cabinet along with his vast array of trophies and awards won over almost five decades in the sport.
Listed below are Dyna Tron's achievements during 2011:
(February 2009 Red Brindle Dog Collision – Gold Rush Bale)
Race starts 2011: 46 – 25 wins, 5 seconds, 4 thirds
Owner: Brendan Wheeler (Boorowa, New South Wales)
Trainer: Andrea Dailly (Anakie, Victoria)
Winner: Group 1 Melbourne Cup; Group 1 Hobart 1000; Group 2 Geelong Cup
Finalist: Group 1 Brisbane Cup (2nd); Group 2 Warrnambool Cup (8th); Group 2 WA Derby (5th ).
Total Career Prizemoney: $498,518.
The previous winners of the AGRA Australian Greyhound of the Year are 2002 Boomeroo, 2003 Bombastic Shiraz, 2004 Whisky Assassin, 2005 Pure Octane, 2006 Betty's Angel, 2007 Flashing Floods, 2008 El Galo, 2009 Cindeen Shelby and 2010 El Grand Senor.
Earlier in the night under the sterling guidance of MC Brisbane's own Paul “Doggsy” Dolan the AGRA announced the other award winners in the following categories.
2011 Brood Bitch of the Year was Abbadale Gold
Western Australian and former Queenslander Dan Biddle accepted the award. Abbadale Gold with 42 points won from Gold Rush Girl 40 and Or Carta 38.
2011 Sire of the Year was Collision
Steve Kavanagh on behalf of owner Tony Lockett accepted the award.
Collision won with 1338 points from Where's Pedro 1330 and Bombastic Shiraz 988.
2011 Run of the Year went to He Knows Uno for his outstanding performance coming from last to win running down High Earner in a heat of the Easter Egg in April.
Owner-Trainer Mick Patterson accepted the award from AGRA Publicity Officer Neil Brown.
The Run Of the Year was determined from the 12 runs of the month, then by a vast panel of judges from each state. This year some 28 people cast their opinion in the nationwide poll deciding a clear cut victory to the performance of He Know Uno while special mentions were given to the efforts of Miata and Kalden Mayhem.
2011 Trainer of the Year was Graeme Bate
Paul wheeler was on hand to accept the award on behalf of his major trainer Graeme Bate, Wheeler acknowledged what an extraordinary year Graeme had had winning over three million dollars in prizemoney and having starters in no less than 43 group races for the calendar year, a feat not even Bate is likely to repeat. It was Graeme second AGRA Trainer of the Year award he also was successful in 2009.
The trainer of year is determined after nominations are put forward to the AGRA CEO's who cast votes at a meeting held in January. The panel takes into account a number of different aspects of the training side of things it included. Group wins, and finalists, state city wins, number of runners and dogs in work, percentage per runners ect.
The final awards of the evening were the induction of members into the AGRA Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame Inductees were as follows:
Trainers – Paul Cauchi New South Wales / Queensland Paul humbly accepted the award expressing how delighted he was to be inducted and how he still enjoyed Greyhound Racing after 50 years involved in the sport.
Queenslander Tony Zammit also was a delighted inductee thanking those involved in his induction and singled out the dedicated hard work of his family in particular his wife Maree and three daughters.
Administrators – Albert “Bunny” Hewton of Queensland accepting his award Bunny expressed his great love of the game after over 70 years of involvement going back to the late 40's to his retirement from the BGRC Committee in June last year.
Iconic Victorian administrator the late Ken Carr his induction was accepted on behalf of Ken's family by GRV CEO and former MGRA Director John Stephens.
Associate – Dr. John Murray Victorian / Queensland accepting on behalf of John Murray who could not attend was Bunny Hewton.
The presentation of the inductees to their acceptors was as always an emotional one with many family members and friends flying thousands of kilometers to honour the very worthy new members of the AGRA Hall of Fame.
It concluded a fantastic night which is sure to be repeated next year. The awards night rotates from state to state and takes place now in September of each year coinciding with AGRA's National Championships, Annual meeting and Conference.