Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Local greyhounds Rough Pearl and Dick Grayson, trained at Worrolong by Lee Bartholomew, had little luck in Monday night’s SA-bred Breeders Prelude heats (515 m) at Angle Park.
In a roughly-run five-dog first heat, Rough Pearl, a 400 metre winner at Tara Raceway last Thursday, looked lost for a greater part of the race before getting going in the home straight to finish second.
In the following heat, Dick Grayson copped a severe check on the first turn before finishing fourth behind Worm Burner bitch Maddison Kaye in a sparkling 29.52 seconds – once again highlighting how tough these paid-up races can be.
The series will conclude next month with the running of the Group 3 Howard Ashton, won in 2015 by Galactic Viper, locally bred and owned by Robert Chuck of Moorak and trained at the time in Victoria by David Geall.
Ashton, inducted into the AGRA Hall of Fame in 2008, first became involved in greyhound racing in 1952 when at the age of 15 he started to attend races behind pilot dogs at the Waterloo Corner track, north of Adelaide.
He actually became honorary secretary of the Adelaide Greyhound Racing Club by default when the person holding that position didn’t turn up one Sunday afternoon. As it turned out, he was never seen again, nor the club funds.
At 21 Ashton was the AGRC honorary secretary when the club moved to Bolivar where it conducted mechanical lure racing without betting. Then, in December 1971, he was appointed full-time secretary/manager of the AGRC (Angle Park), a position he held until 1996 before becoming the racing operations manager.