Western Australian conditioner, Peter Hepple, looks set for a successful few months at the races with two members of his handy High Earner x Delaque litter making a good impression from limited starts on the track.
Sisters Nice Lil’ Earner and Charity Earner, have both started on the racetrack and early indications are showing that they might turn into good money spinners for connections. What makes the light brindle bitches even more special is that they are part of a wonderful arrangement put in place by Greyhounds WA, which will see their prize money on the track donated back to charity.
Delaque, the mother of the litter, was owned by ‘The Puppy Club Syndicate’. The Puppy Club is a special group set up by Greyhounds WA for children under the age of 16 who want to enjoy the thrills and excitement that greyhound racing offers. The Puppy Club have enjoyed great success as owners over the years, with greyhounds such as Won On Points, Barney Stinson, Methane, Miss Juliet, Jazzy Judy, Glen Abbey Ben and Puppy Club Magic. The earnings of their beloved chasers go to various children’s charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Centre For Cerebral Palsy.
Racing and marketing manager, Dennis O’Brien, is responsible for purchasing and organising the charity chasers and reflects on their importance .
“As an organisation we need to do things like this. It has been great over time, we have had lots of dogs win money for charity and it’s a great excuse for us to donate money”.
Delaque was also trained by Hepple and was quite a handy bitch on the racetrack. The daughter of Trewly Special faced the starter on 47 occasions from which she recorded 12 wins and 10 placings with almost $40,000 in prize money.
“She was a good race bitch”, Hepple said, “She broke down 4 or 5 times with the same problem but she still went 30 and 30 something (30.35 seconds to be precise) at Cannington”.
“We never saw the best of her on the track”.
When Delaque was retired, the decision was made to breed a litter from her. Dave Robartson generously donated a free straw to his ill-fated sensation, High Earner, for the charity mum-to-be. The result was seven pups; two dogs and five bitches.
Unfortunately, two pups passed away before reaching racing age however the remaining five speedsters are in Hepple’s astute hands. Four of the pups are owned by the Puppy Club Syndicate and are a part of the charity incentive, with the last member of the litter, Rubix Que, given to Hepple and his wife Margaret for all their hard work breeding, rearing and training the pups.
So far, the best performed pup from the litter has been Nice Lil’ Earner. The gutsy little bitch has only started on four occasions but has already saluted three times, with her only other run a close third at her first race start. Her most recent win was last Wednesday night at Cannington where she began brilliantly from box seven and gave nothing else a chance, landing the cash by two lengths in 30.92 seconds.
Interestingly, Nice Lil’ Earner’s dazzling form surprised her trainer as she had not shown as much potential as her sister, Charity Earner, in trials. However, each time she steps out onto the track, Nice Lil’ Earner seems to mature and improve her racing style and at just 21 months of age, she is developing into a promising young sprinter.
Nice Lil’ Earner will line up for her fifth race start tonight at Cannington where she will contest race five, a 5th grade race over 530 metres. Drawn well in box three, the speedy bitch is poised to pounce straight to the front of the field and notch up her fourth consecutive win.
“Box three will suit her if she goes straight; she seems to jump left a little bit at the start. She is quick but she needs to get a bit stronger at the end of her races”, Hepple said.
Also lining up in an event tonight will be Charity Earner. While Charity Earner defeated her sister in their qualifying trial at Northam in July, the peppy powerhouse is yet to crack through for her maiden victory. However, she ran a handy second last week at Cannington, giving an indication that a win is not too far away.
“She came second last week. She was actually back in third at one stage but she fought on hard to get back into second”, Hepple explained.
Tonight will be Charity Earner’s third track appearance and although drawn awkwardly in box six, she is sure to have a cheer squad watching and supporting her.
Making their debut in upcoming weeks will be the rest of the litter; Jump The Queue, Lindback and Rubix Que.
In particular Jump The Queue will be one to follow, with good initial reports coming from the kennel after her slick Qualifying trial at Northam.
“Jump The Queue was the slowest but she has improved in leaps and bounds. She trialled at Northam and broke the 30 second barrier and that is going pretty good”, Hepple enthused.
Although the fledgling sprinters are showing signs of being good little racers, Hepple is prepared to take his time with them to allow them to develop as athletes, rather testing them too much in the early stages. By doing so, he maximises their ability to have a successful future on the track and achieve what they are destined to do for some amazing charities.
“They are still learning. They haven’t built up their racing muscles or form so what they are doing now is off their raw ability and what they have inside them”.
“I don’t want to push them too hard. They can all run but they are still only young”.
“As long as they don’t get injured. They can only do what they do and stay out of trouble and hopefully they will be in the front at the end”.
With such a great reason for these greyhounds to score on the track, there are sure to be plenty of supporters cheering them on so that they can play their part in helping to improve the lives of those children and families who are facing some tough times. In the care of Peter Hepple, they are sure to thrive at what they were born to do and hopefully in the process, raise some money for those who need it the most.