Bundy sprinter is on a hot streak
Queensland Roundup with MIKE HILL
THE David Plummer-trained sprinter Fogelberg is shaping as the most improved greyhound racing at Bundaberg this year.
The brindle chaser (SH Avatar-Rocket Banquet) has been super consistent since hitting the track for the first time in early March with an eye-catching second in a 460m maiden.
A couple of wins quickly followed, but it has been in the last two months that Fogelberg has stamped himself as a truly talented sprinter.
In late June he ran a BP 26.12s in a Bundy Fourth Grade (460m) to begin a winning streak on the grass circuit.
An unplaced run up the 366m straight at Capalaba followed but then he was back into winning mode at his home track.
Four successive victories came quickly – all in FFA class – and in the process Fogelberg lowered his PB again – to 26.06s – just .11s outside the track record of 25.95s held jointly by Shakey Diesel and Craig’s Regret.
His recent success has taken him to a 16-point lead in the club’s Greyhound of the Year award and his career record stands at nine wins and eight placings from just 21 starts with prizemoney approaching $13,000.
THE Rockhampton club hopes to be staging 12-race programs in coming weeks.
President Nev Jackson said the club had recently acquired a demountable building to house the stewards as well as a vet room.
“The relocation will give us extra room in the kennel block for two more race bays,” Jackson said.
“We’ve been restricted to 10-race meetings because of a lack of space for extra dog bays, but with the new building we can now expand the kennelling area.
“With increased dog numbers in the region it will be a huge help.
“We’ve been wanting 12-race meetings for a long time.”
It’s all part of ongoing improvements at the Rockhampton club’s Callaghan Park complex.
WHILE Pauline Byers looks to be running away with another female trainer’s title at Ipswich, it’s not so clear-cut in the men’s premiership.
Midway through last month Mal Cuneo (275) had a narrow three-point advantage over Darren Johnstone (272), with Merv Page within striking distance on 244, while Wayne Scott (198) and Tony Brett (192) head the rest.
Byers, who won the title last year, has a commanding lead over Serena Lawrance – 531 to 391.
Her late husband, prominent trainer Col Byers, had been a leading figure at the club for years.
He dominated the trainers ranks, winning the male premiership in 2007 and then from 2011 until his death in 2019.
QUEENSLAND’S most ‘isolated’ greyhound trainer Lee Stokes says he may have to give the game away.
Stokes, who only has one dog racing, said a recent decision to reduce the travel subsidy for Cairns trainers would make it more difficult for him to keep going.
In August the subsidy for Cairns regional based trainers racing at Townsville was reduced from $150 to $100 per meeting.
“There are about seven or eight trainers around Cairns,” he said.
But he’s the only one so far north.
Stokes said he was grateful for the opportunity Racing Qld had given him to remain in the sport after the Cairns club ceased racing at the end of 2018.
“The travel subsidy has helped me to stay in the sport,” he said. “Without it, I doubt if I’d be still be racing. It has been an enormous help.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the decision but I understand RQ’s situation.
“It’s a big industry and I’m a very small player.”
It may only be a $50 reduction, but it’s big in the context for Stokes.
Living at Julatten – a one-and-a-half-hour drive north of Cairns – he’s the most northerly-based trainer in the state.
It takes the retiree in his late 60s seven hours to drive from his base on the edge of the Atherton Tablelands, west of Port Douglas, to meetings in Townsville.
“My wife and I leave home at 9am on race days and after a couple of stops we get to Townsville around 4pm,” said Stokes, who has had his trainer’s licence less than three years.
“We stay the night in a motel in Townsville and then drive home the following morning.
“It’s just too far for me to drive back straight after a meeting.
“It’s close to a 1000-kilometre round trip.”
Stokes only has one dog in work – Nudge Bar – after retiring his bitch Sure Moment a few months back.
“We still have her. She’s a house pet now,” the trainer said.
“Nudge Bar is not yet three and hopefully he still has a good 18 months to two years racing left in him.
“I hope to stay in the sport until then, but I feel he’ll be my last dog.
“I love being in the sport but it’s getting a bit too expensive.”