Johns venture into the world of greyhound racing, came about when Johns brother Jim, was training a few dogs in Melbourne, with good success.
John witnessed the success his brother was having, and thought it was a sure fire way to make a quick, easy buck. He soon found out it wasn’t as easy as he first thought.
John and Moira, had been involved in the racing game, for many years, before entering into the world of the Greyhound racing. With Moira’s son a successful jockey, and the pair owning a couple of unsuccessful race horses.
“They Cost way too much” Moira says. “You are always paying money out with little or no return”.
The horse days come to an end, and in 1996 John and Moira, took there first leap into racing as hobby trainers with a dog called
Faulty Gauge. He was purchased by them from Qld trainer John Keep and as is the norm with successful trainers, the dog was an instant success. Winning numerous races at Casino, and notching up his first win at Ipswich in 25.96 beating fellow trainer, Ricky Fall.
In those days, first prize money was a mere $200, and John had a feeling one day at Casino he could win. John had told Moira he was going to have $100 the win on the dog, a big bet for John, but remember $100 was half the prize money back then, and that’s equivalent to having $600 on a dog in todays prize money. John ended halving the bet and only had $50 on the dog who consequently won. Moira, was initially concerned with the large bet John was placing, but was overjoyed when she phoned John after the dog had won; only to have John explain he had chickened out and only had $50 on. This left Moira’s asking why he had not had the whole $100 on!!!
The pair continued to train successfully as hobby trainers with plenty of winners. I remember quite well a dog they were racing, called Johnny Pay Day with good success. In 2008 John gave up his full time job, and the pair decided, to give the full time training game a go. They are now based in Park Ridge Queensland, and continue to have great success.
Donny McKinnon, gave John and Moira Pay, a dog called Major Spirit, who they took on board and won a heap of races with at headquarters at Albion Park. Major Spirit was a sensational performer for them who won $36,000 in prize money and had 123 race starts. I was at Ipswich one morning trialling when unfortunately the old marvel, smashed his hock as he thundered past me rounding the turn. It is always though to witnessed these things happen, and my good friend Stephen Sherwell, came to the rescue. Steve, whisked him off to the vet for John. But Unfortunately he was unable to be saved, and now lays at rest on Steve’s picturesque property in Mullgowie, Queensland.
John and Moira, continue to have great success with ordinary dogs. Taking them on board and turning them around. Johns eye for a good dog is paramount to there success. He has had great success buying cheap dogs and winning thousands with them.
Sold It, who is currently still racing was a purchase John made for $600 as a performed bitch, and she has earnt the pair over $16,000 in prize money to date. The success doesn’t stop there though, with No Entry, also a great buy, among many others John has purchased. The daughter of Halluncinate, has also earned them over $20,0000 in prize money after John paid $700 for her as a maiden racing at Capalaba. So as you can see John certainly has an eye for a good dog.
John, ‘claims to be a dog whisperer’ and quite frankly who can challenge that, with the couple having constant success with ordinary dogs. He’s always out playing ball with his race dogs, or spending time talking to them in there race kennels. Something John claims works wonders in improving the dogs. “A happy dog races better” John says; evident in there improved performance.
John and Moira’s good dog Pocket the Penny, once had a fluffy toy which he loved and protected but He ripped it up and destroyed it one day, after John decided to leave him at home and not trial him.
John and Moira’s day stats at 5am, and the pair work together to get through the daily choirs. Their daily routine is quite different to many, as they feed dinner to there dogs of a morning, instead of the usual nightly feed. They get plenty of help from Moira’s son Shaun, and also can’t do without the help their daughter and son in law provide when racing their team. They believe getting the basics right and feeding well, is most important in a dogs career.
A recent addition to the kennel, Nitro Blonde, was recently forgot about and left at Ipswich one race day “Moira jokes” – it wasn’t until they arrived home and made up the feeds that they realised their mistake. John was being swabbed and the ever trusty team had forgotten the new addition. Nitro Blonde has been a revelation, since joining the kennel, and the bitch recently flew around Ipswich running a super quick 30.47. An improvement of about 10 lengths!
The successful kennel does not go looking for dogs but are always having to turn away owners. They currently have some nice pups on the way through by Spring Gun from their bitch No Entry and the futures looks bright for the Park Ridge pair.
There ambition is to one day win a feature race with one of there lucky charges; only a small request says John; and something I think is just around the corner for the lovely pair.
They are always on the lookout for a quality dog, and you only need to look at there results and improvement of dogs, who come to there kennel, to have the confidence to send your quality charge to them.
One things for sure John and Moira Pay will be around for a long time to come and I wish them the best of luck.
John and Moira can be contacted anytime on 0410 467 440.