Thursday, May 9, 2019
Back when the Iron Dog was first conducted at Tara Raceway there was no 600 metre distance so the series comprised two rounds of 400 metres with a 512 metre distance stuck in the middle.
For those who can remember the 1970s and 1980s extensive marketing campaign for Claytons – “the drink you have when you’re not having a drink” – the three-round series was a sort of Claytons Iron Dog.
But for all that, the 2012 inaugural event was the forerunner of bigger things to come. Michael Niele of Berringa Park came on board as a sponsor and young brothers Calum and Aaron Blake certainly weren’t too worried about the distances.
They won the series with Kiss Me Donkey – a greyhound that had taken more than 50 starts to win her maiden – after she was successful in the 512 metre Iron Dog round and the final 400 metre round.
By the time 2014 came around, 600 metre racing was up and running at Tara Raceway and the Iron Dog had become a three-distance series, the indefatigable Captain Abbott’s smart bitch Manila Express winning the final after gaining a run as a reserve.
In 2015, Monty Wilson’s Boolite Bruiser and Richard Clayfield’s Upset Boy dead heated in the final. Then, Nicole Stanley’s Old Jock was successful the following year before Jeff Guy’s Paraphernalia made it back to back wins in 2017-2018.
In the past, the Iron Dog series has always consisted of two rounds of heats with the leading point scorers making up a final, the winner of that leg being the Iron Dog.
This year the series will undergo a couple of changes – three rounds will be run with no final, the leading point scorer after the three distances have been run over consecutive Sundays on June 2, June 9 and June 16 declared the Iron Dog winner.
To be known as the Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog, initial nomination for the Open prizemoney series will cover the three rounds with the leading point scorer receiving a $500 bonus plus a Winning Formula Kennel Pack donated by Peter Bryce of Winning Post Supplies.
However, to be eligible for the bonuses, greyhounds must have competed in the three rounds.
The other change will be the dropping of the 400 metre distance from the series. Obviously this is not going to be a Claytons Iron Dog!
The opening round next month will be over 600 metres, followed by 732 metres and concluding with 512 metres on Sunday, June 16.
Looks like it’s time for the Iron Dogs to toughen up.