Bridport owner-trainer Richard Hall was experiencing no luck at all with members of his team until gift greyhound Ninja Bear (Ninja Jamie – Moonlite Bear) entered the winners circle at the NWGRC meeting on Devonport Cup day.
“I hadn’t won a race for eighteen months and wasn’t really confident that Ninja Bear was the greyhound to solve the problem, but he was really impressive that day and now looks like he may develop into a handy performer,” he explained this week.
On Monday night at the LGRC meeting conducted at the Tote Racing Centre, Ninja Bear was once again on his best behaviour when he surprised many observers, by scoring a last to first victory in a heat of the Big Dog (515 metres ) event.
“Admittedly several of his rivals on Monday night suffered severe interference, however Ninja Bear ran on strongly to take out the event, albeit in the slowest of the heats and he has now qualified for the final on Monday night,” Hall explained.
The chaser has now won two of his six outings since debuting at an LGRC meeting six months ago and has joined litter mates Jack Reacher, Bridport Reine and Moonlite Bell in the winners list.
Hall was given four of the litter when they were nine months old, but decided to offer three of the pups to fellow owner-trainers in the Bridport area.
A beef cattle farmer with a large holding on the outskirts of the popular holiday resort, he has been involved in the sport for only four years, but is finding it a welcome form of relaxation away from the property.
“I was at Mick Taylor’s place and saw an advertisement in a greyhound racing publication and decided immediately to purchase a chaser from interstate, without even knowing that I had to be a licensed person to do so,” he explained.
Hall did not experience much joy with that initial investment, but enjoyed success as a trainer not long after with the litter mates Mackie Slater and Gypsy Slater.
“Mackie Slater won six out of his first seven outings and 13 races total and Gypsy Slater won five races, so they set the ball rolling for me,” he explained.
“I sent Mackie Slater to Western Australia to contest the Mandurah Cup, but it took him time to become accustomed to the heat and he did not fire early on, but made amends once he had settled in.”
Hall likes to breed a litter of pups each year and is currently rearing seven by Bekim Bale from the very well performed Elite State bitch Kyra Shiraz.
“Messrs Stamford and Mills bred several litters from Kyra Shiraz with good results and I am hoping that she can carry on the good work for me,” he explained.
Previous to obtaining Kyra Shiraz for breeding purposes, Hall purchased the well related bitch Flick The Switch from New South Wales, however she died before he was able to breed a litter from her.
Hall prefers to prepare only a small team, but is also in the process of offering rearing facilities to other participants.
“I consider my property to be the ideal environment for rearing pups, I have an abundance of space and access to plenty of fresh meat, so what more would I want,” he said.