Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Cystic Fibrosis had been with Michelle Niele for all of her 23 years, but it didn’t stop her from developing a love of greyhounds which she co-trained with her father Michael.
It’s been a while now since the Iron Dog series run at Tara Raceway carried the Niele name – in the form of Berringa Park Kennels.
But after Michelle died of the disease in November last year, Michael Niele made contact with the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club to see if it would be interested in running a race in his daughter’s memory.
He didn’t have to ask twice because it had always been hoped that at some stage he would renew his ties with the club. And, besides, Michelle had always enjoyed her trips to Mount Gambier when they brought over greyhounds to race.
The Berringa Park Iron Dog goes back to 2012 when the three-distance series was run over 400 metres, 512 metres and 400 metres – nothing too taxing back then but these were the only distances available at the time.
Winner of the series was Kiss Me Donkey, a dog that had taken more than 50 starts to win her maiden for young brothers Calum and Aaron Blake.
These days the going’s a bit tougher, round one of the Michelle Niele Iron Dog being run over 512 metres on Sunday, May 10 and followed by the 732 metres round a week later.
The leading point scorers from these two rounds will then contest the final over 600 metres on Sunday, May 24.