It’s now more than 20 years since Jenny Garner of Mepunga East last brought over a greyhound to race at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway. But she still remembers the day well.
As it turns out, it was Mount Gambier Cup day on Monday, May 21, 2001 and she had Frightful Lass engaged in the cup day distance event over 732 metres.
Also bred by Garner, Frightful Lass was a daughter of Modern Express x Bayside Girl. The fawn bitch duly won the stayers’ race in 44.96 seconds when defeating the Tony Byron trained Mel’s Express, also by Modern Express.
Incidentally, the previous year Byron, of Allansford, had won the Mount Gambier Cup with Fitzroy Bomber.
Fast forward to yesterday and Jenny Garner was back at Tara Raceway, this time paying special attention to a blue bitch by the name of Naughty Shorty, owned and trained by Hannah Garner, the 20-year-old daughter of Jenny and the late Leon.
Lining up from box two in the Produce Store Maiden Stake (400 metres), Naughty Shorty led all the way, holding out Zoe’s Way to win by a nose in 23.38 seconds – a pretty handy time for a Thursday maiden.
The winner is by Beast Unleashed out of eight-race Victorian provincial winner She’s Fabtastic. Actually, the litter was whelped by Jenny Garner for breeder Chris Dalli.
And it was during that period that Hannah had taken a fancy to a little blue bitch.
“She was just so friendly and always jumping on me so I decided I’d like to keep her. Later, I worked out a deal with Chris whereby I would rear one-for-one with both pups receiving the same attention.
“Naughty Shorty has been a real hands-on experience for me,” she said. “Besides rearing her, I was also able to break her in at the Koroit track with Peter Byrne and Dustin Drew’s help.
“They’ve been of tremendous assistance with their advice as has Barry Smith. I’m sure they’re all very excited for me.
“As far as I am concerned it was certainly a day to remember after training my first winner with my first greyhound.”
But for Hannah, due to ongoing study, it’s now a case of having to look for another trainer.
“Yes, I had previously been studying at Deakin University Warrnambool but this month I will be continuing my studies at the Geelong campus so I’ll have to find another trainer for Naughty Shorty,” she said.