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The ‘Meadows Maestro’

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Richard Clayfield, of Glenroy, has unearthed a copy of the Venture, this particular four-page edition – inserted in country newspapers around the state, including The Border Watch – dated February 6, 1974.

One suspects that Clayfield hadn’t kept the Venture all these years for the “Gardening with Glen” column or even a book review on the “History of Millicent”.

No, it was probably for the front page story titled “Meadows man has the dogs going for him”, the then 45-year-old Meadows man being Doug Payne or as he was often referred to, the “Meadows Maestro”.

Doug Payne pictured at Meadows in 1974 with Bristol Miss.

Here he was in glorious black and white (not much has changed there as far as greyhound racing is concerned), pictured with the mighty Bristol Miss. Another picture was of the inside of his impressive kennel house while Payne’s former champion stayer Yodel High was shown with her litter by Half Your Luck.

Actually, the unearthing of the article was quite timely with the $9290 Doug Payne SA-Bred Memorial Feature Free For All (515 m) to be run at Angle Park next week.

Last year’s Doug Payne SA-Bred Feature was won by Wilba Beast, with three generations of the Payne family on track for the presentation.

Payne, a butcher and successful trainer in Broken Hill, moved to Meadows in the 1970s, looking to get in on the ground floor when legalised greyhound racing behind the mechanical lure was introduced.

He certainly got in on the ground floor, as he was the leading trainer for the first 15 years of greyhound racing in SA and won an unprecedented four Adelaide Cups – his favourite being with rising four-year-old Kuriarkin, the 1989 winner at 33/1.

Payne always rated Bristol Sue and her sister Ascapella Miss as two of his best dogs, followed by a couple of “cast-offs” that came from Melbourne – Red Pulse and Yodel High.

A key player in the halcyon days of SA greyhound racing, Payne was widely-respected Australia-wide as a trainer and in 2011 was inducted into the Australian Greyhound Racing Association Hall Of Fame.

The “Meadows Maestro” died in 2000 at the age of 71.

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