Former Kempsey greyhound trainer and caller Nathan Goodwin will return to the track on which he learned his trade this Saturday.
Born and bred in Kempsey, Goodwin now calls far North Queensland home and currently owns and operates a boarding kennel and pet food shop with wife Rhonda.
Goodwin will drive from Brisbane for this weekend’s meet at the Kempsey track to race his bitch Murranji Mary in the Southside Minimart Stakes.
His family was among the leading breeders and trainers of greyhounds in NSW and Nathan’s own love of the sport started at a young age.
“My grandfather, Frank Brady, was the leading trainer on the Mid North Coast for years and years,” he said.
“After he died in 2000 it was pretty much the end of the dog era down there.”
Goodwin was 11 years old when he called his first race at the Kempsey track.
“I remember Dick Hillard was calling that day. He asked me to come up to the race and let me call one of the races,” he said.
“After that I used to go up there and call them all the time, I had to stand on a 20-litre paint tin just to see the track and I couldn’t see at all once that filled with bottles.”
After relocating to Townsville in 1996, Nathan started working with Racing Radio calling the horses, trots and greyhounds.
He eventually moved into the role of station manager, a position he held for eight years before purchasing the boarding kennel business.
“I’ve had dogs the entire time I’ve been up here, I don’t tend to breed them, I generally buy ready to race dogs and we’ve had some fair success,” he said.
“The dog we’re bringing down on Saturday we bought for $1500. She’s won $8,000 for us since November last year and was second in the Mackay Cup last Monday.”
Goodwin currently commutes between Townsville and Brisbane, where he calls for Radio 4TAB, and races anywhere between Cairns and the NSW border.
“We’ve won a Townsville and Mackay Cup as well as numerous features, derbies, oaks and Young Guns events,” he said.
“We race from Cairns to Mackay and down to Brisbane so my dogs are used to travelling.”
As for the chances of Murranji Mary this Saturday, Goodwin said there’s no reason why a return to his birthplace would prove unlucky.
“She hasn’t been out of the prize money in her last 15 starts,” he said.
“She’s a small, compact bitch and the Kempsey track should suit her.”
Courtesy : Luke Horton, The Mackay Argus