Friday, June 5, 2020
Like A Slug, the greyhound that a bit over a month ago was in retirement at his owner Kerry Hawker’s Moorak property, caused the boilover of the day at Tara Raceway last Thursday when as a $34 chance he defeated odds-on favourite Squishy Pea in the Gordon Refrigeration Open Stake.
And while the recently-licensed Jason Newman, also of Moorak, has enjoyed recent success as a part-owner of the Murray Bridge Straight Track Cup finalist Call Me Billy, it was Like A Slug who gave him the thrill of training his first winner.
Having his sixth start for Newman, the fawn dog quickly settled into second spot behind Raw Luxury in last Thursday’s 400 metre event before railing through on the home turn and duly squishing the Pea to win by a length in a personal best 23.08 seconds.
By Worm Burner, the SA sire of the moment, out of maiden bitch Miss Hodge, Like A Slug won three races at Tara Raceway for his breeder-trainer Peter Fulton of Ecklin South before Hawker purchased him for $2000 in early December.
She then handed him over to Edenhope trainer Captain Abbott who won with him at the local track in February before the going became a bit tough after the SA border was closed and Like A Slug was restricted to racing in Victoria.
Hawker eventually brought him back to Moorak, to all intents and purposes with retirement in mind. This was short-lived, though, after Newman approached her to see if she would be interested in him having a go at training the dog for her.
“I figured being a January 2018 whelping he was a bit young to be spending his days curled up in a lounge chair and, besides, he would be one more for the depleted local pool of dogs so Kerry was happy enough for me to have a go with him,” Newman said.
“I received terrific support from Greyhound Racing SA in relation to the processing of my owner-trainer licence because previously I had only been an owner.
“And it goes without saying that the whole family was over the moon after Like A Slug’s win. He’s a real favourite around the place, possessing the ideal temperament and a real pleasure to train.”
Based at Moorak for five years, the 38-year-old Newman had been involved with greyhound racing years ago when living in Tasmania. Close to 12 months ago he rekindled his interest as an owner and now as an owner-trainer he has four greyhounds in work.