Monday, January 23, 2017
Jock Middleton of Hamilton is the first to admit that he should get over to Tara Raceway more often.
Middleton, the manager of the Jocks Lot Syndicate, races the 100-start veteran chaser Old Jock in partnership with John Mitchell and Bazz Tuppen.
And there was no way he was going to miss being at Tara Raceway on Sunday for the crowning of Old Jock as the 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.
In a year that included the Iron Dog title and a spot in the Mount Gambier Cup final, Old Jock recorded 10 wins, 13 seconds and five thirds for a total of 71 points, seven clear of second placegetter Glenville Jester.
Speaking after the presentation, Middleton recalled a Saturday morning in early 2013 when he made a trip to Mortlake to check out a litter of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze pups at the property of Terry Payne.
“The original intention was to select two pups but in the end three were chosen,” he said.
The original selections ultimately raced as Miss Shirleen (28 starts for three wins and 12 minor placings) and Old Jock (102 starts for 16 wins and 39 minor placings).
The third selection turned out to be a pretty handy bitch called Temalor who raced on 51 occasions for 13 wins and 16 minor placings.
“Miss Shirleen whelped a litter of eight to Magic Sprite last September with a new syndicate called Jocks Lot No. 7 retaining two to race,” Middleton said.
Old Jock, who strutted around the presentation area on Sunday like he owned the joint, has started the year off well, winning at Tara Raceway on January 1 and since running third at Sandown Park.
Jock Middleton and trainer Nicole Stanley, of Portland, will now be hoping for another forward showing from the striking-looking 37 kilogram chaser in next month’s ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup.