Grand Plans For Graeme Jose And Mantra Lad

has two sporting loves – football and greyhound racing – and he’s planning to win grand finals in both these sporting arenas.

Jose is the non-playing firsts coach of the Longwarry Football Club, which is affiliated with the Ellinbank & District Football League.

He is also the trainer of ’s No. 1 staying greyhound – .

The Catani-based Jose is coaching Mantra Lad towards successive 1 Championship grand finals – a feat only achieved by Queensland distance diva Boronia Blossom (1995-96).

“It’ll be like winning an AFL grand final if he (Mantra Lad) goes back-to-back,” Jose said.

Mantra Lad, who has won stakes of $336,920, commences his second NDC campaign in state heats at on Thursday night. But the ultimate mission is the grand final at , Perth, on September 5.

He hasn’t raced for six weeks, but Mantra Lad clocked a 34.15sec – around one length off the 600-metre track record – in a trial between races at on Saturday night.

“He had done a lot of travelling, so I gave him a let-up after he won the Superstayers (, Brisbane) on July 2… I didn’t want to burn him out,” Jose said.

“But during the past few weeks I’ve had to start getting some miles into his legs… I think I’m a week behind where I’d like to be with him, so I’m hoping his heat is not a gut-buster.”

There isn’t any doubting that Jose will be in there shouting – for Mantra Lad and Longwarry Football Club – come that one day in September.

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