Strictly Palaver Impresses For Heavy Hitters Of Racing

PREMIER Queensland trainer Darren Russell headed to the boxes at Ipswich on Tuesday afternoon with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

David Brasch

25 February 2022

PREMIER Queensland trainer Darren Russell headed to the 431m boxes at Ipswich on Tuesday afternoon with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

He had at the end of the lead Strictly Palaver, a Zambora Brockie-Tahlia’s Way litter brother to young sensation Black Comanche, making his race debut in a maiden out of box eight.

But that was the least of Darren’s concerns.

What weighed heavily on Russell was the fact the After The Last Syndicate that owns the dog has 12 “heavy hitters” of the greyhound world.

Strictly Palaver, and Darren, were right up to the task, beginning sensationally to lead throughout and win in 25.11 by six and a quarter lengths as the $2.30 favourite.

The syndicate of owners is: Jodie Pagan, Peter Bellamy, Luke Gatehouse, Myles Smith, Seona Thompson, Scott Steele, Michael Johnson, Kathryn Lincoln, Darren Barbour, Jim Byron, Gerard Daffy and Phil Reid.

“Jodie is the accountant at Albion Park and she runs a tight ship as the boss of the syndicate,” said Peter Bellamy, breeder and owner of legend Surf Lorian.

“Then of course there are the other staff from Albion Park, Luke and Darren, Sky’s Jason Lincoln, Gerard Daffy … all of them with connection to the dog.”

Bellamy said he got the call from Gatehouse regarding the need to form a syndicate.

“He was out to lunch somewhere and rang to say we had to get a syndicate together to buy some dogs,” said Peter.

“One thing led to another and we bought two of the Zambora Brockie-Tahlia’s Way litter.

“Unfortunately, this dog broke his hock as a pup and didn’t get anywhere near the running he needed.

“But Darren (Russell) has been very patient with him and lots of straight work with him at Capalaba has got him right.”

Bellamy is well known around south-east Queensland racetracks as an astute follower of form.

“The mail was, he was a good thing,” he said. “But, with the money that went on him, he still drifted out at the end.

“He is a brilliant beginner and that will be his best attribute. I believe Darren will now head towards a Novice at Albion Park on a Thursday night.

“Wow, the celebrations in the After The Last Bar at Albion Park on that night will be huge.”