Johnson Kennel Firing On All Cylinders

Leith greyhound trainer Gary Johnson’s kennel is enjoying an extraordinary run of success, it having produced the winners of six races in the space of a week.

“We all have those runs – your luck will be out for months and then it will turn around and the winners start to come, thank goodness for that,” he said this week.

Litter-sisters Li Li and Tiny Tilly, both from the highly successful Head Bound – It’s A She litter, have been the stars of the team and appear likely to continue winning while in their present form.

Raced by Johnson’s wife Robyn, Li Li prevailed in the Tasfreight Grade 5 (515 metres) event at the Tote Tacing Centre on Monday night when she defeated Peter Pines as a firming $2.70 commodity.

She has now won five of her 13 outings and according to her trainer has just hit her straps following injury.

“She was racing particularly well early in the year but then had to be given a spell and Monday night was her third run back,” he explained.

“I will keep her racing through the grades and believe that one day she will mature into a nice brood bitch.”

Tiny Tilly, raced by Robyn Johnson in partnership with breeder Leigh Alexander, won at the HGRC meeting last week and then made it two in a row at the Raceway on Tuesday afternoon by winning the Hankook Tyres Grade 5 (452 metres) event as a heavily supported $1.90 favourite.

She has now won 7 of 21 lifetime outings and according to her trainer has similar ability to her litter-sister.

“There is not much between them, they are both pretty smart bitches and should pay their way in the foreseeable future,” he declared.

Johnson’s other winner at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night was the consistent bitch Buckle Up Gaye, by from the top staying bitch Buckle Up Tina, the winner of 32 races and stakes of in excess of $96,000.

Also raced by his wife, she took out the Shaw Contracting Pty Ltd Grade 4 (515 metres) event by six lengths, paying the handsome dividend of $8.40.

“She deserved to win a race because she had been placed at her previous three starts in good company,” he explained.

“Down the track I think she will develop into a handy stayer because Buckle Up Tina represented over the long distance and I think this bitch will improve still further with more racing.”

A prolific breeder, Johnson is currently handling 20 well related pups and is naturally hoping that he can unearth another Buckle Up Tina or the like.

“All the pups are extremely well bred and are shaping up nicely at this stage,” he explained.

“I will be introducing some new owners to the sport and we are hoping for a bit of early success to spur us on.”

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