Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Apsley-owned Cryer’s Plugger will make his distance debut in Victoria tomorrow night when he lines up from box eight in a grade five stayers event over 715 metres at Sandown Park.
Raced by Tara Raceway regular Margaret Cryer and formerly trained by her husband Tom, a decision was made to transfer Cryer’s Plugger to Buln Buln East trainer Steve White after the brindle dog had impressed on debut over 732 metres at the local track in October last year.
The son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget has now raced on five occasions since joining White’s kennels for two 525 metre seconds at Traralgon.
However, there aren’t too many soft touches at Sandown Park on a Thursday night and Cryer’s Plugger will run into a smart field headed by Fernando Bale youngster Rippin’ Sam who has won his past three starts over the distance at Sandown Park and Bendigo.
Since the re-introduction of 732 metre racing at Tara Raceway at the end of August last year, the Cryers have done well with members of their two litters of the same breed – Cryer’s Jack also successful in 44.53 seconds on November 19 while younger full brother Cryer’s Bob won in 44.00 seconds last month.
Meanwhile, at last Sunday’s meeting the Cryers were under added pressure when members of their extended family – some at a greyhound meeting for the first time – were at Tara Raceway to see first-hand just how good these dogs they’d been hearing so much about really were.
But by the time race 11, the Produce Store Stake (400 m), came around the Cryer extended family must have been wondering what was going on. After all, a couple of fifth placings and an eighth was not what they had been promised.
Box eight runner Cryer’s Sid, a litter brother to Cryer’s Plugger, was the last hope. A winner of three races from 44 starts, he hadn’t won since May last year so the 85-year-old trainer wasn’t expecting much as he wearily trod a path down to the kennel house for the final time on Sunday.
As it turned out, Cryer’s Sid was going to win a long way from home, ranging up to Allen Unther down the back straight before going away to a comfortable 3¾ length win in 23.68 seconds.
The excited family quickly joined Margaret Cryer and Cryer’s Sid – whose win was the 24th for the January 2015 litter – for a celebratory photograph. So this is what winning is all about!
Not so for the camera-shy trainer though. No, he beat a hasty retreat to the kennel house where he could only reflect on a day of ups and downs and be thankful that family members had been on course on Sunday to share in the thrill of what has been the ride of a lifetime over the past 3½ years for Tom and Margaret Cryer.
And now, if only Cryer’s Plugger can win tomorrow night.