Brothers Gary and Greg Fahey made a clean sweep of the $5,760 George and Eileen Johnston Puppy Championship Final (452 metres) at Tuesday’s NWGRC meeting when they provided the trifecta for the annual feature with littermates Soul Sister, Rip And Tear and Breaker’s Tip. Surprisingly, it was the despised outsider Soul Sister that prevailed in the prestigious event, recording a time of 25.64 and paying a win dividend of $26.80.
One of Tasmania’s best known racing identities, Greg purchased the well related bitch Dennes Point (Go Wild Teddy – Wooreddy) from the Island Syndicate headed by prominent breeder Barry Heawood and bred her to Mogambo. The resultant litter to be raced by him in partnership with Gary, a well known trainer based at Mangalore. The winner of six of 12 lifetime outings while accumulating stakes in excess of $8,700, the bitch had all the credentials to become a successful matron, her dam having already proven to be a wonderful producer.
Greg’s judgement was correct, members of the litter have impeccable manners, an abundance of speed and have impressed greatly in recent months.
On Tuesday, Rip And Tear as the likely leader was public elect, and everything went according to plan until the final stanza, when Soul Sister blew him away with a powerful finishing burst. She had only won on one occasion previously, but according to her trainer, had improved greatly in recent weeks. “The others were five or six lengths quicker than her, but when we trialled them last she went as well as they did,” he explained.
Fahey also explained that he was delighted to win a raced named in honour of George and Eileen Johnston. “George was one of the instigators of me getting into the game back in the sixties when I first got my love of greyhounds,” he said.
Icons of the greyhound racing industry in the North West, the Johnson’s were involved in the sport as participants as well as administrators and raced such standouts as Fenton Girl, Fenton Doll, Rambling Jet, Fiery Bob, Lucky Concession, Edward My Lad, Quiet Doll, Fenton Gold, Devon George and Miss Top Notch.
“George would breed a litter and give prospective purchasers the pick of them, keeping the pups that were left for himself,” former NWGRC chairman Gary Sutton explained. “Invariably he would end up with the best greyhounds, so it just goes to prove what a great trainer he was.”
Meanwhile fledgling sire St. Pierre was credited with a winner at the NWGRC meeting when Black Sienna, one of the offspring of bitch Wongawilli Wala, was successful in the Fenton Girl Juvenile (452 metres). An occupant of Ted Medhurst’s powerful Mangalore kennel, the bitch recorded a time of 25.78 in winning the event at odds of $2.30 and is displaying plenty of potential at this stage of her career.
The Allan Anderson juggernaut also continued to gain momentum at the meeting when he prepared yet another winner in what is the greatest run of success he has experienced during his long period of involvement in the sport. Blue Tam, by Go Wild Teddy from Juicy Lucy, took out the Quiet Doll Grade 4 (452 metres), recording a time of 25.72 and paying a win dividend of $3.00.