WHEN Alex Anderson’s retired racer Sketchy Sammy failed to get in pup the Scottish-born veteran trainer was left without a greyhound to race.
So he bought a pair of lightly raced maiden bitches, Bronelly Pearl and Bronelly Beat, and yesterday week landed a Wentworth Park winner with the former.
Bronelly Pearl came from fifth at the first turn and second at the top of the straight, running down tearaway leader Hear The Drums to win the 520m Goulburn To Wenty final by a head.
Bronelly Pearl, who had found trouble when unplaced at her only previous WP start, covered trhe 520m in a tidy 30.25.
Her sister and kennelmate Bronelly Beat, who has won seven provincial races for Anderson, finised sixth after being second early but running off the track and colliding at the first turn.
Anderson and his wife Carol are based at Windellama, in the Southern Highlands, and have been training for 40 years.
“When I was a boy back in Scotland my father, also named Alex, had greyhounds, and raced them at the famous Powderhall Stadium in Edinburgh,” Anderson said.
“Powderhall closed in 1995 and is now a housing estate, but the racing system in Scotland, like in England, is nowhere near as satisfactory as it is here.
“There, if you own greyhounds, you have to place them with a trainer who is based at an established track, you can’t train them yourself from your home like you can in Australia.
“Best greyhound Carol and I have had would be Clan Carol, who won the 1980 Jockeys & Trainers Cup at Wentworth Park, the Prouds Jewellers Sapphire Trophy, and even a 959m marathon race there.
“She was a top class stayer and a prolific city winner.
“I was keen to breed a litter from Sketchy Sammy but when she missed out on being pregnant I bought Bronelly Pearl and Bronelly Beat as performed maidens in order to keep us going.
“What attracted me to them was their excellent breeding, because they are by Fernando Bale from Pearl Napoleon, who has been an outstanding producer.”
Pearl Napoleon has indeed been a breeding barn star, whelping greyhounds like Benteke, a National Sprint Championship finalist for Ruth King and a winner of 11 from 36 races, Cy Tolliver (11 wins in 42 starts), Zamperini (six out of 21) and the former Brett Bravo trained flyer Ride The Rails, winner of 27 from 71 outings.
Hear The Drums, the Richmond 400m Cannonball winner, lost no admirers with his close second behind Bronelly Pearl at WP, taking his record to 12 wins and four placings from 20 starts.
Leading up to the Goulburn To Wenty Final, Hear The Drums had trialled nicely over 520m at WP for trainer Mick Clayton but raced wide from box one in yesterday week’s race and was caught in the last bound.
“I would have been disappointed if Hear The Drums had been run down in 30.50 or 30.60 but I am encouraged by the way he went at his first 520m race because the winner clocked 30.25,” Clayton said.