Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Presentations to David Peckham, winner of the 2019 Ian Badger Leading Trainer award, and to the Captain Abbott owned and trained Black Spring, the 2019 Greyhound of the Year, will further add to Sunday’s top class meeting at Tara Raceway.
This will be the second year that the Leading Trainer award has carried the name of Ian Badger, the 2018 winner being the Compton-based Tracie Price who trained 137 winners, 124 seconds and 102 thirds at the Mount Gambier track.
It could be said that Badger’s name is now associated with the Leading Trainer award purely by chance after the discovery in a shed at Tara Raceway several years ago of a trophy covered in cobwebs.
Much of the sport’s history is now long-gone, but this trophy – for the 1979-1980 Leading Trainer – thankfully survived. As it turned out, this had been won by Ian Badger.
It was upon the discovery of this trophy that the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee of the day decided to name its annual Leading Trainer award after the inaugural winner – a man who loved his greyhounds and greyhound racing and who had been a dedicated club man.
Badger was on the committee of what was then known as the South East Greyhound Racing Club when racing commenced at Glenburnie on Saturday, July 21, 1979. He was secretary the following season and president between 1984 and 1986 and again from 1988 to 1990.
In 1996 he was awarded posthumous life membership of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club after having died on March 31, 1995 at the age of 46.
His trophy is now part of the club’s memorabilia display, standing alongside the Leading Trainer trophies of 1980-1981 and 1981-1982, both won by Kevin Guthridge, these days no longer involved with greyhounds but a visitor from time to time at Tara Raceway.
Once again making the trip down from Adelaide for the presentation will be Judy Sellen (formerly Badger) who was the secretary/treasurer of the SE Greyhound Club Ladies Committee that had been formed in August 1978.
This committee, which also included Connie Miller, had been active in fundraising and had catered for the many owners and trainers on trial days with a refreshments stall.
Interestingly, of the $55,000 spent on the Glenburnie track prior to opening day, $25,000 had been raised by raffles conducted over the previous six years while $10,000 had been raised by donations. The balance had come by way of a guaranteed bank loan.
And handling the presentations on Sunday will be Kevin “KD” Douglas who taught with Badger at the Mount Gambier High School between 1978 and 1981.
“Ian trained a few greyhounds for me, the best being a bitch by Tempix out of Hazel’s Dream called Tempting which l later sold to Port Lincoln where she was a Greyhound of the Year,” said Douglas, who has Missing Mate engaged at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
For Peckham, the 2019 win is his fourth since TAB racing commenced at Tara Raceway in 2012, the 45-year-old Allendale East-based trainer successful in that year and again in 2013 and 2014.
In 2019 he trained 128 winners – complemented by 23 doubles, nine trebles, four winners on six occasions and five winners twice at Tara Raceway – as well as 101 seconds and 79 thirds.
Price was the Leading Trainer in 2015 and again in 2016 when he trained 78 winners, 69 seconds and 74 thirds. In 2017, Nicole Stanley of Portland was the Leading Trainer with 111 winners, 91 seconds and 85 thirds.
Abbott enjoyed a terrific 2019 with Black Spring, the son of Spring Gun and Lektra Scarlett winning 13 races at Tara Raceway as well as running nine seconds and four thirds for a total of 74 points and Greyhound of the Year honours.
Since 2012, GOTY winners have been Maldini’s Motion (Cass Billington), 2013 Just Humphrey (Lee Bartholomew), 2014 Rouse Flyer (Barry Shepheard), 2015 Cryer’s Fred (Tom Cryer), 2016 Old Jock (Nicole Stanley), 2017 Fiorelli Rose (Nicole Stanley) and 2018 Paraphernalia (Jeff Guy).