Thursday, February 16, 2017
No one really knew whether Ivor Dowdell, of Yahl, was actually the world’s oldest licensed greyhound trainer.
Although, when he trained his last winner, He Gone, back on September 11, 2015 at Tara Raceway at the age of 93 there weren’t too many disputing Mount Gambier’s claim.
Even Tara Raceway bar manager Dawn Kay had got into the act and set up a race day reserved table “for the world’s oldest greyhound trainer” – Dowdell and his companion Josie Virgo became part of the furniture!
Ivor Dowdell died last week, ending an involvement in greyhound racing that commenced in 1985 when his son Des – Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club president in 1990-91 – gave him a dog to train.
A carpenter by trade, he was born in Mount Gambier and with the exception of service in Borneo during World War II and a short stint in Northam (WA) he spent most of his life in the district.
Dowdell always reckoned his best greyhound had been Regal Gem, a son of Pop Gun x Delphi Dazzle, and bred by his son.
When trained in Victoria, Regal Gem had run fourth to Enfield in the 1991 Maturity classic final at Olympic Park.
Locally, there had been plenty of winners at the old Glenburnie track – with Dapto Bob winning a Greyhound of the Year – prior to greyhound racing relocating to Lake Terrace East.
In more recent times Dowdell and Virgo had enjoyed success with My History, a winner of nine races at Tara Raceway.
And while he had been absent from the track since the middle of last year in what was one of greyhound racing’s sorrier stories, most will fondly remember Ivor Dowdell as the world’s oldest greyhound trainer and one of the sport’s real gentlemen.
TIME GRADING FOR TARA
Greyhound Racing SA’s Racing Department is continuing to investigate options to provide ongoing racing opportunities for greyhounds of all abilities.
According to GRSA Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson the next step in the grading system is to provide a framework that analyses a greyhound’s true ability – speed or time – and places them accordingly.
“All greyhounds nominated for one of these meetings will receive a time rating figure which is based on an average of their actual run time over the past few starts,” Mathieson said.
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is now looking at using time grading at its Tara Raceway Friday meetings on April 7 and 21.
Outlining the conditions this week, Mathieson said the meetings would be graded “worst to best” with grade four or higher not considered.
“Maiden, grade six and grade five, over any distance, will be considered with all races being non-penalty and paying Pathway prizemoney.”
Mathieson said each grade would be graded separately with reserves determined by the grader taking into account the suitability for the fields drawn.
The MGGRC has been allocated extra Sunday meetings on April 9, May 7 and June 4.
TWO PUPS FOR YOUNG GUNNER
David Peckham, of Allendale East, reports that Young Gunner has whelped two black dogs to Shakey Jakey.
By Bombastic Shiraz x Oxley Magic, the durable Young Gunner raced on 116 occasions for 10 wins and 48 minor placings, collecting almost $37,000 in prizemoney along the way.
She wound up her racing career at Tara Raceway where she won over both 400 metres and 512 metres after having previously recorded multiple 595 metre wins at Sandown Park.
Shakey Jakey, a son of Collision and Kiacatoo Pearl, raced only once, running a record 29.07 seconds when winning by 22¼ lengths over the 520 metres at Wentworth Park on April 6, 2014.