In my opinion, there is no better sight than witnessing a united family that work tirelessly from their suburban backyard, chasing their dreams of glory and succeed in the highly competitive world that is greyhound racing.
Bolwarra Heights father and son duo; Phillip and Brad Cowling, are experiencing their greatest successes in racing at present, racking up a string of wins across a multitude of both TAB and country tracks across New South Wales.
23 year old Brad Cowling was born into the racing industry, having grown up as a kennel hand for several leading trainers and perfected his craft by looking after over 300 greyhounds from birth to the race track.
As Cowling explains, every win is just as special, no matter where it occurs.
‘I love the country tracks, especially Kempsey. Most people say Wentworth Park is their favourite because of the prize money, but I love all the country places we visit because I know all the people and it’s great fun’.
‘Dad and I’s first win as trainers was at Kempsey, so we always love going their because it’s a special place to us’ he added.
Phillip Cowling began his love affair with racing in the trotting industry, before moving to greyhounds where he owned Come On Homer, a winner of 21 races, trained by Stephan Bell who the pair have a great relationship with and rate him highly as a trainer.
Whilst Brad was working in Bathurst, he picked a bitch out of a litter by Big Daddy Cool out of Smokin’ Aces to take home with him, who is now known as Denali Aces.
Trained by Stephen Bell and owned by Brad and Phillip along with first time owners; Steve, Pam, Kevin and Nifty, the 26kg pocket rocket racked up 6 impressive wins including; 22.84 over the 400m and 29.84 over the 515m at Unitbet Gardens.
She was retired last week and will now head to the breeding barn with plenty of keen interest from prospective buyers.
Tuesday night at Gosford a memorable moment for Denali Racing, with Speedy Denali taking out the maiden race over 400m as a $22.70 outsider from the reserve box 9.
After weaving his way through the field, the son of Surf Lorian and Nice Portrait stormed home to score by a head and sent the Cowling family into a frenzy.
‘I was surprised with how well he went on Tuesday. His only just turned 2 year old and were excited to be stepping him up to 500 on Monday night at Wentworth Park if he gets a run’ Cowling explained.
Goldie Knox is another handy little chaser who is just starting to come of age on the race track having cracked her maiden victory at Gosford last month, in a smart time of 30.21 over the 515m journey.
Owned by Denali Racing’s number two syndicate including; Kevin, Steve, Bryn, Phillip and Brad, there should be exciting times ahead in store according to Cowling.
‘When we got her she had a few injuries, but we have fixed them up and now she’s starting to show some form. She was average around the country tracks but we decided to persist with her and she’s starting to work it all out’.
As the old saying goes ‘behind every good man is a great woman’ and this is certainly the case when it comes to the Cowling family with Brad’s mother Karen a regular attendant to food and cleaning duties and partner Amanda Stewart, who also comes from a greyhound racing family, completing the team known as Denali Racing.
‘Mum and Amanda both help out and feed the dogs when Dad and I are busy with other things. They both love greyhounds and I couldn’t do it without them. Our dogs are so spoilt and we wouldn’t have it any other way’ said Cowling.
‘Dad is an awesome trainer and I love him to bits. We always help each other out when one of us is busy and it works really well. You can just see how much winning means to him, when he comes home his so happy’ Cowling added.
As much as we all love seeing the superstars of the sport dominate our media coverage, it’s an extremely heart-warming experience to learn what it means to our hobby trainers just to win a race.
No matter where it is and no matter how much prize money its worth, the thrill and overwhelming joy a win brings to people like the Cowling family, is vital in reassuring that our sport really does make dreams come true.