Tuesday, August 20, 2019
As things turned out, it was Kyneton owner-trainer Adam Wilcock’s biggest day at a greyhound track when he brought over a team of four to race at last Sunday’s meeting at Tara Raceway.
This was his first time at the Mount Gambier track, the end result being a winner with his first runner, a quinella a couple of races later – his first double and first quinella in only 18 months of training – and a second placing in the last race.
It was back in February 2018 that Wilcock took over the training of his first greyhound, Chatterbox Laura, who had previously been trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley.
And while Chatterbox Laura won only the one race at Shepparton a couple of months later, it was enough to convince Wilcock – who says he has no regrets over a “misspent youth” when living in England and taking in plenty of greyhound meetings with his father – that he wanted to become further involved in the sport.
Twelve months ago, the 43-year-old Wilcock, also a manager of professional boxers and a fight promoter, moved to a 12-acre property in Kyneton where he currently has nine greyhounds in work and is rearing four pups.
“Look, it’s still a work in progress but with the help of my children, Eli and Skye, things are starting to come together and we’re all really enjoying the lifestyle,” he said.
Wilcock, who made the 4½-hour journey from Kyneton to Mount Gambier claiming to not really know where he was going but enjoying the scenic drive anyway, said the main purpose of the trip had been to try and get an injury-plagued Zipping Clare into a six-dog race with slightly less pressure.
But earlier in the day it was Zipping Ester who kicked off her trainer’s big day, the brindle bitch finishing strongly in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 metres) to defeat Miss Adelaide by 2½ lengths in 23.80 seconds on a rain-affected track.
Wilcock picked up Zipping Ester – a granddaughter of Al Fresco (also the dam of former Tara Raceway record holder Mantra Miss) – in late December last year after she had run a performance trial at Bathurst, the daughter of Don’t Knocka Him and 14-race winner Zipping Tess having now won four races.
Forty minutes later kennelmates Bush Regis and Flash Fernando quinellaed the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) for Wilcock, the former taking over the running down the back before hanging on in the run to the line to win by a head in 30.67 seconds.
A son of My Bro Fabio and Sooky Suzie, Bush Regis has now won three races for his current trainer who took him over prior to the black dog having won a race. Among his littermates are Our Menace and Pa’s Chance, both winners at Tara Raceway for local trainer Noel Perry.
And Flash Fernando is a litter brother to this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup runner-up, Slingshot Hammer, a winner of 21 races and $140,000 in stakemoney.
By the time the final race, the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m), came around Wilcock had been shooting for a treble, Zipping Clare well fancied after resuming from a three-month break with a first and second at Ballarat and Horsham.
By My Bro Fabio out of Zipping Summah, Zipping Clare had won four races prior to Wilcock purchasing her almost 12 months ago – five more wins have followed, with her owner-trainer now looking at breeding with her.
“She’d been advertised for sale on one of the greyhound sites for about three months and because I had breeding in mind the longer she remained for sale the keener I became.
“In the end I contacted Martin (Hallinan) at Clergate and took possession of her last September before winning three races in succession at Bendigo, Ballarat and Sandown Park in October-November.”
Zipping Clare gave it her best shot last Sunday when running a half-length second to Shannah’s Gift – Wilcock more than happy with the effort and probably wondering why it had taken him 18 months to make that scenic drive to Mount Gambier.