After winning feature races including Derby’s, Oaks and Young Stars, slowing down never meant stopping for the Robartson’s. The training duo where welcomed back to WA racing with a second and a fifth on Thursday night at Greyhound’s WA Mandurah.
Last Day was Robartson’s first runner as a refreshed Western Australian trainer, running second to Christine Bennett’s Corbel.
Last Day is a blue brindle dog out of Dashing Corsair – Take A Squizz. He has been running over 520 metres at both Ipswich and Albion Park. He has had 11 starts for three wins and eight placing’s. Litter brother Super Yikes was their second runner of the night, finishing fifth after being checked to the rear end of the field.
“They both trialled well coming into their respective races. Their first sectionals where really good and they railed in their trials.” Trainer Christine Robartson explained.
“They travelled beautifully, so that shouldn’t effect them during their race.”
The Robartson’s packed up their 40-acre farm and a large handful of their dogs simply because they didn’t like Queensland any more.
“The racing side to us was going downhill. We also wanted to come back home because our family is over here now.”
Like most greyhound trainers the Robartson’s believe they are getting old and wanted to turn their job as greyhound trainers into a hobby.
“We had 40 acres, 20 of those acres were grass, as well as around 100 dogs at one stage. It was a lot of work for just the two of us.”
Christine and Dave Robartson had previously trained from WA but moved to Kalgoorlie without their race dogs to pursue a career outside the greyhound game with Kleenheat.
“Dave kept his brood bitches and we started breeding over in the Eastern States.”
Their daughter had moved from Kalgoorlie to Queensland and upon visiting her they ending up buying a farm to restart their greyhound racing passion on fresh soil. From here the duo had great success from brood bitches Roxy Reason and Roshana. In breeding lines to come, High Earner and Miss Hot Gossip are just two of the super star chasers that the Robartson’s have produced.
The move towards hobby trainers started with the number of dogs they could take with them from Queensland to WA.
“We brought 21 dogs with us and we will just sort out what we have got and go from there. It wasn’t hard to give up the farm, it was a lot of hard work for two people. Most of them are pups, we have West On Wendy’s next litter, as well as Pretty Spiffy’s next litter to Go Wild Teddy.”
When asked about whether they had any special greyhounds ready to hit WA’s racetracks Christine replied, “They are all special, all my babies.”
The Robartson’s have one WA bred pup out of Bekim Bale – Sassy Guess that they brought with them. Kennel named Maverick, he is a spitting image of his mother because of his large frame and big head. Maverick is yet to hit the racetrack but has been clocking impressive times in Queensland.
“All the pups have really just been in work, they broke in alright. Whether they go on with it is another thing. We have to sort them out and share them with Linda (Britton) who will be doing some training for us too. We mainly want to keep the Mandurah Dogs.”
The relationship between the Robartson’s and Linda Britton has seen success from both ends. Linda has trained many greyhounds for the Robartson’s in the past and is currently training Saving Bundles, Enough Talking and Sadies Guess, who have been raised by the Robartson’s. Breeding deals involving Sassy Guess and West On Wendy are already seeing good results on the racetrack.
Giving up the greyhounds was hardly an option for the duo, with Dave’s determination and Christine’s soft spots for all her puppies. So downgrading to hobby trainers was the best of both worlds as they head towards retirement.
From the day that Christine and Dave brought the kiosk at the Mandurah Greyhounds 40 years ago and Dave asked that faithful question, “can we buy a greyhound?”, there was no turning back.
“Greyhounds get into your blood!”