The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA
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A win at the dogs for long-time racing mates

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

While local sporting identity Kevin “KD” Douglas and Coleraine Racing Club president Rod Neeson, of Nareen, have been racing mates for more than 30 years it took them until July this year to finally get together to race a greyhound.

Douglas, who had raced greyhounds out at Glenburnie, was last successful 12 months ago at Tara Raceway with a dog called Mordred, purchased as a pup and trained for him by Peter Franklin. Neeson, on the other hand, had previously raced only thoroughbreds.

Missing Mate opens his winning account at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

So when Allendale East trainer David Peckham negotiated a three-dog deal with prominent NSW breeder David Pringle it was a case of Douglas keen to become involved with a greyhound of racing age and keen to involve his long-time mate.

“I’d purchased my previous greyhound as a pup but this time I was looking to cut down the waiting time and purchase a dog that hopefully wouldn’t be too far away from racing,” Douglas said.

Peckham had dealt with Pringle before, three years ago purchasing litter brothers Blitz And Bolt and Goldie’s Run, the former winning at Angle Park and Tara Raceway and the latter locally for him prior to being sold.

The latest package included Cruising By and Silent Jacko, who have now won five races and four races respectively, and Missing Mate, a short-priced favourite from box one in last Sunday’s O’Brien Electrical Stake (512 metres) for Douglas and Neeson.

Missing Mate, a December 2017 son of Kinloch Brae and the unraced Bonnie’s Secret, went into the maiden/one win race still looking for his first win after running four minor placings from his only five starts.

This was going to be Missing Mate’s day, though, the brindle dog never looking like being beaten, eventually running out a 3¼ length winner over Close Your Eyes in what turned out to be a best of day time of 29.90 seconds.

The win was the first in what was another big day for Peckham, Cruising By winning the final race, the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m), and giving him four winners – after Dyna Naitch and Squishy Pea had also been successful – for a total of 94 at Tara Raceway this year.

David Peckham, Christine Yourgules and Rod Neeson pictured with Missing Mate after his best of day 29.90 seconds win.

The “missing mate” last Sunday was Douglas who was in Adelaide. Neeson, however, enjoyed his day at the dogs and being associated with his first winner.

Douglas headed out to Globe Derby Park the following day to watch pacer Wolf Of West Bay, of which he is a part-owner, score a comfortable win over 1800 metres – the bay gelding now in the running for the SA 2 YO Pacing Colt/Gelding Horse of the Year award which will be announced on Friday night.

It had been a couple of good days for Douglas. Tuesday was even better, though. Much better.

In Adelaide to wrap up what had been exhausting chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for prostate and associated cancers – treatment that had commenced early this year – he received a positive result from specialists.

“That was the best win I’ve ever had,” he said. “And I say this to all men – have regular medical check-ups. They can help you stay healthy and pick up early warning signs of disease or illness. Screening tests may also help your doctor to detect some cancers in their early stages.”

Meanwhile, Missing Mate, despite drawing box five, looks well placed to win again this Sunday when he lines up in the Greyhound-data.com Stake, a maiden/one win event over 512 metres which sees him once again clashing with Close Your Eyes.