Dart Goes Outside The Square For Albion Park Bid

NORTHERN Rivers trainer John Dart was "fronted" by a fellow trainer at a recent meeting wanting to know how he was still able to compete in Brisbane.

David Brasch

1 September 2021

PREMIER Northern Rivers trainer John Dart was “fronted” by a fellow trainer at a recent race  meeting wanting to know how the Dart kennel was still able to compete at Albion Park every Thursday night.

Dart took exception to what he believed was a complaint about possible discrimination. No, John Dart does not have special exemption from the Queensland state government.

“What we do is dependent on a number of good people coming to our aid,” Dart said. “But everyone along the way gets paid.”

The kennel has three runners at Albion Park on Thursday night, Rumbling Away in a 600m FFA, Dreamy Dan in a 520m 4th Grade and Don’t Change in a 520m 5th Grade.

“At 11am on Wednesday, our Albion Park runners are picked up by Aussie Pet Transport and taken to the Ormeau kennels of Nicole Connell,” Dart said.


“Nicole races them on Thursday night for us, they stay with her overnight and are back in our kennels by midday on Friday.

“It costs about $500 to undergo the exercise but last week the kennel won $8000 in prizemoney.

“We have got to do it because of the prizemoney on offer and the dogs need to get their chance.

“I just wish I was a footballer so me and my entire family could cross the border with the dogs and stay in five-star accommodation.”

Dart said none of the dogs he has raced recently at Albion Park under the new routine had been the slightest bit concerned about the travelling.

“Dogs in our kennel get used to travelling very quickly,” he said.

Dart has earned the nickname “Jacaranda John” after explaining his race routine when competing at Grafton.

“Instead of driving home from Grafton and arriving so early in the morning, I now stay overnight at the Jacaranda Hotel outside Grafton,” he said. “The dogs rest in the trailer. I’m up at 5.30am and home by 10.

“The dogs are well rested and so am I. It works out perfectly. The management at the Jacaranda are happy to look after us all.”

Dart has been earning a number of different nicknames in recent times. He answers to Ribbons, Jacaranda John and Google. Those who know him best will need to ask Dart for an explanation of each.

Of his chances at Albion Park he believes Rumbling Away is outgraded in the FFA and being prepared for 700m, Dreamy Dan is well boxed for the 4th grade, and Don’t Change is “flying” and a very strong chance.