For local owner-trainer Christine Yourgules it’s been a case of renewing acquaintances with the strikingly-marked white and blue greyhound, these days known as King Carey.
Yourgules, who helps out at David Peckham’s Bourne Kennels at Allendale East, was on hand when Panda Bale, owned by leading SA owner Tim Aloisi, whelped to Fernando Bale in early July 2019. Old-timers of the sport would have considered this a perfect age for the pups.
“With his colours and markings, he was definitely the best looking dog in the litter,” recalled Yourgules who, as it turned out, got to spend plenty of time with the pups as they were also reared at Bourne Kennels.
In time the litter found its way to Victoria. But, after six unplaced runs at Geelong, Cranbourne, Warrnambool and Ballarat, King Carey found his way back to Allendale East – much to the delight of his number one fan.
“I was so happy that I almost cried when he returned to Bourne Kennels,” she said.
Maybe a maiden 305 metres win and four consecutive third placings over 400 metres at Tara Raceway wasn’t quite what Aloisi had been looking for. However, when he decided to move King Carey on he didn’t have to look too far for a buyer.
“To be honest, I never thought that I would ever own him,” Yourgules said. “I’m now racing him in partnership with Dita (Mitchell) who had been a great help to me when I was starting out in greyhound racing.”
And when King Carey lined up in yesterday’s Produce Store 1-4 Wins Stake it was his first start over 512 metres at Tara Raceway and his first outing for his new owners.
But the step up in distance didn’t present too many problems for the King. He rounded up the front-running See Me Socks down the back before going away to a five lengths win in 30.32 seconds – marginally quicker than Allinga Chloe in the only other 512 metres race on the day.
Speaking after the race, Yourgules said she had been confident King Carey would run out a strong 512 metres.
“He wouldn’t have blown a candle out at the end of his 400 metres runs so I didn’t think he’d have too many problems with the 512 metres. Actually, I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t run out a strong 600 metres.
“But in the short term David is now preparing him for Sunday week’s age-restricted Winter Classic heats (512 m). And with this series being for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2019, he certainly won’t be giving away anything when it comes to age.”
Meanwhile, Mitchell tasted success in her own right at Murray Bridge on Wednesday when Our Purpose was successful up the 300 metres straight.