Hobby's WA Suspension To Be Repealed

For just over four exasperating months now, champion West Australian trainer Dave Hobby has waited for this day – June 10 – to arrive.

Peter Davis

12 June 2022

For just over four months, champion West Australian trainer Dave Hobby has waited for this day – June 10 – to arrive.

Hobby was suspended from participation in greyhound racing by Racing and Wagering Western Australia having not been Covid-19 vaccinated and the sanction, under Local Rule 46, took effect from February 5.

The WA Government decided, last week, to remove work and safety restrictions for the majority of the WA workforce and that change will allow RWWA to lift all suspensions on participants in the three codes of racing.

Highlighted by the RWWA Local Rule was champion jockey William Pike’s move east while star harness reinsman Chris Lewis, like Dave Hobby, was unable to ply his craft locally in the early stages of restrictions.

RWWA will formally repeal Local Rule 46 by resolution (possibly on Tuesday) and thereafter, Dave Hobby can commence trialling at Mandurah and Cannington again.

Prior to the suspension, Hobby had 99 greyhounds in work and only 26 will be at hand on resumption.

“Four months is a long time out of a greyhound’s racing career, so I sold a lot of dogs which I really would have otherwise retained and transferred others,” Hobby said.

“We had no idea when things would change so I had to make a move for myself – and others owners.

“Mike Quinsee had a lot of dogs here including some really outstanding Zack Monelli pups which I really wanted to hang onto – they’re out of Frida Monelli, a sister to Perth Cup winner Trouper Monelli … they’re quite special.

“Some older dogs were sold interstate and have done really well while Mambo Monelli won the Group 1 Galaxy here at Cannington on March 19 for Steve Withers.

“The dogs I have here have not been able to go to a trial track and some break ins need to get to the track as soon as possible.

“My alternative is to send them interstate and if that’s the case, they won’t be coming back.”

Dave Hobby and Mike Quinsee’s racing stock will stay with new trainers and Hobby will only resume with unraced youngsters.

“Eric Campana has my son Clinton’s dogs and Mike has his with Morgan Turner. My own dogs are with Tony Apap in Queensland,” Hobby added.

“I’m bewildered by the need for RWWA to have the local rule when I could have continued training and not gone to tracks.

“We were even prevented from breeding a litter and I just can’t see how that impacted on potential Covid-19 contamination.

“My last litter was whelped just on five months back and three brood bitches were placed in the adoption program.

“The uncertainty was something we could not deal with. I just hope this all happens quickly and I can get on with business.

“And it’s not only me, it’s in all three codes … I’ve had to cut staff numbers (from nine) to only four.”

Hobby faces up to 12 weeks of trialling for his reduced team to be race ready but when “Team Monelli” is up and running, it will be a force to be reckoned with.