When you get an insight into the hectic life of Buckley based trainer Lisa Cockerell, you could be excused for thinking that she barely has a spare second to stop and muse about anything, let alone daydream about winning a Group Two greyhound race.
“I just want to know what it feels like,” Cockerell told ARG.
“People ask me how what it would be like to win and I just can’t answer, I would love to just know what that feeling is like.”
Cockerell’s attitude encapsulates the reason that so many of us find greyhound racing so alluring. That thrill of possibly winning a big race that eludes so many but attracts us all.
However it is not the incentive of the $100,000 winners cheque that sparkles brightly for Cockerell, that part of it is hardly mentioned. It is something much more simple yet sentimental that she hopes for.
“I know the race is worth a lot and that money would be great but, to be honest, I just want one of those presentation rugs.”
“I used to be very competitive with horses and I was the same there, I always wanted a winners rug. I finally got one and it was a dodgy cotton one with no embroidery or anything and I thought that it didn’t really count. I eventually got a nice woolen one, but I’d really love a greyhound one too.”
Cockerell’s love of animals does not stop at greyhounds, she had just been feeding her ponies before talking to ARG. Not just any ponies either, with her success in the equine world just as impressive as her greyhound achievements.
“I used to do a lot of dressage and things like that but I have twin three year old girls now. My friend breeds Australian ponies and asked if I’d like to have one, I said what is the catch? She told me all I had to do was break it in and it was mine. Well that horse has turned out to be a champion.”
“We won a Widden horse of the year and also won the Supreme Champion at the APBS Victorian Stud Show, which is an event I had only ever dreamed of competing at, let alone winning. They are a lovely breed and a lot easier to care for now that I have the twins, I can leave them in the paddock for a week and they come back looking just the same as they did before. My friend is a breeder so I also have an endless supply.”
By her own admission, her life with twin girls Taylor and Morgan coupled with her horses and training greyhounds is an extremely busy one.
“They say there is no rest for the wicked. If that is the case I must be really, really wicked,” she laughs.
When it comes to Cornelius Fudge, Cockerell is, first and foremost, very proud of the fact that he has made the race. His career to date features 13 wins and prizemoney earnings just shy of $100,000.
“I am so glad he has made it, just for him more than anything, he is so consistent and I think he really deserved to make a race like this.”
This time, Cockerell believes they are more chance of winning the big event than they were with his mother.
“I feel like we are closer to it than ever. With Finlandia, she always came up against some really top bitches in her final, she was slow early too and we never really thought we were a hope. This time, with so many good dogs not making the final, it just feels that little bit closer.”
“The draw is not great, I guess it is better than six, seven or eight, but he is going to get back regardless so as long as he gets some room, I guess the box doesn’t matter too much. I think it is just a case of putting him in the box and closing my eyes and hoping for the best.”
With a little bit of luck, It could be Cornelius Fudge who puts on the display of magic at Sandown this Thursday Night.