‘Group 1 Gordy's' Golden Touch Continues

AFTER almost half a century, Gordon Hind is doing his darndest to emerge from the shadow of lifelong friend, prolific WA trainer Chris Halse.

AFTER almost half a century, Gordon Hind is doing his darndest to emerge from the shadow of lifelong friend, prolific Western Australian trainer Chris Halse.

Scotland-born Hind has been dubbed ‘Group 1 Gordy' after working his magic behind the scenes with the last two winners of the G1 Galaxy – WA's premier staying event – First Picked in 2023 and West On Boonie earlier this year.

Hind's Midas touch was again to the fore when Hector Fawley careered away with The Sandgroper at Cannington on Thursday night.

The Victorian powerhouse was boarding with Chris Halse and partner, WA training icon Linda Britton. 

And of course, ‘Group 1 Gordy' himself.

"I did it again!" said a short but very sweet text message from Hind in the early hours of Friday morning.

Gordon with Ian Cockerell after Hector Fawley's The Sandgroper success

"First Picked came over and won the Galaxy last year and I got in Robert Britton's (trainer's) ear and told him I'd done all the work with the dog!

"Then West On Boonie won the Galaxy this year, so I classified it as back-to-back wins for me!

"I'll have to find something for next year and go for the three-peat.

"That's how ‘Group 1 Gordy' came about and the name has stuck like mud. It's actually got out of hand!"

After arriving in Perth in 1974, Hind, now 60, struck a schoolboy bond with Chris Halse and their mateship led inevitably to the greyhound track.

"I worked with a lady, Sue Carr, who had dogs, her husband Peter trained them, and that got Chris and I started," Hind recalled in his still-heavy Scottish brogue.

"To begin with, we just had the one dog in the backyard and we had no idea what we were doing. 

"We trained the dog chasing a plastic bag on a string!

"Chris used to fund me – I was the poor kid and he was the rich kid!

"We had varied success, but we did have some nice, handy dogs over the period."

A youthful Gordon Hind and Chris Halse with their first winner Icy Colleen

A promising training partnership was nipped in the bud when Halse met Linda Britton.

Britton and Halse have gone on to dominate the WA greyhound racing scene, while Gordon ponders what might have been.

"I tell Chris that was the biggest mistake he's ever made!" he laughed.

"Before Chris met Linda, we were really going places. We had it made!"

Hind was the beneficiary of the formidable Britton/Halse kennel in the mid-1990s, enjoying a golden period courtesy of classy quartet Daring Speed, Daisy's Casino, Yangery Park and Yangery Storm.

"Daring Speed was the fastest dog I've ever had," Hind said.

"Within a twelve-month period, those four dogs made twenty odd finals – Perth Cup, Derby, Oaks.

"Unfortunately, I couldn't crack one and to this day, I haven't been able to win a big race, but that was a hell of a ride."

Through his friendship with successful Victorian owner/breeder Jarrod Sharp, a close friend of the Britton family, Hind was introduced to GRV Hall Of Fame trainer, the late Alec Reid, which led to his greatest personal success with the collar and lead.

"Alec was like a de facto grandfather to me," Gordon said.

"He trained two good dogs for me called Black Watch and Hampden Roar.

"Later on I brought Black Watch over to Western Australia and trained him myself.

"He broke the Mandurah 410m record three times and the track changed not long after, so he'll hold that record forever now. That's my big claim to fame!"

After an almost two-decade absence from greyhound racing, Gordon once again heard the call and there was only one place he was going to make his return.

"About two years ago I rang Chris and Linda to see if they had any jobs going and I started again," he said.

"Chris and I have come full circle now.

"When we first started off I used to have the dogs at my place and I would tell Chris what to do. Now the dogs are at Chris and Linda's place and they're telling me what to do!

Gordon trained multiple Mandurah track record breaker Black Watch

"Chris and Linda are very methodical. Linda leaves no stone unturned and Chris, well he just does what he's told!

"Linda's the real boss!" he added with a laugh.

"Seriously though, Chris has three passions in life and he's excelled in all of them. 

"His passions are soccer, which might surprise some people, but he was a state league-level goalkeeper, fishing and the dogs. He's made it to the top in everything he's done.

"It's a very big operation. There's well over 100 dogs here and we try to keep things a bit light-hearted because if you don't have a laugh you'll go crazy!"

Anyone who's had the good fortune to cross ‘Group 1 Gordy's' path would attest he's very good at doing just that.

If further proof is required, just ask Hector Fawley's still-celebrating trainers Ian and Lisa Cockerell and delighted slot-holders Ladbrokes.

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