Larry is feeling right at home
By MIKE HILL
THE well-known phrase ‘Happy as Larry’ could have been penned solely for talented North Queensland greyhound John Strachin.
The super consistent Townsville sprinter, whose kennel-name or, to be precise, house-name is Larry, is living the good life while breaking all the rules for racing greyhounds.
Instead of being confined to the kennel block, this black dog is living the high life in the Wooler family’s Townsville suburban home.
“He’s a house dog,” said trainer Andrew Wooler. “He lies on the lounge in front of TV during the day and sleeps on the floor in one of the bedrooms at night.
“He gets his treats after races – sometimes a custard tart or apple pie – and the kids giving bits of toast or crumpets in the mornings.
“The biggest problem is watching his weight … making sure it stays around 32.2kgs”.
John Strachin is a special dog for the Wooler family – Andrew, wife Jo and children Drew and Hayley.
“He was named in honour of the father of Drew’s best mate Andrew Strachan,” said Wooler.
“Andrew’s dad John died of cancer just before the dog started racing and we put the name John Strachan down as one of our naming choices.”
The authorities wouldn’t let the Woolers spell Strachan with an ‘a’ but said they could use an ‘i’, so John Strachin became the racing name for the black Walk Hard-Super Leggera youngster.
But that’s not the reason the sprinter now resides indoors.
” ‘Larry’ was bitten by a spider when I took him south for the Rockhampton Young Guns series 15 months ago,” Wooler said.
“We nearly lost him. We think it was one of those spiders whose bite causes flesh-eating problems.
“It took six months and a series of blood tests for him to come right – he was cramping up after runs and there were other issues.
“It was during this time that we brought him into the house so we could keep a close eye on him.”
John Strachin began to enjoy the indoor life and has stayed inside ever since.
Currently racing in the best form of his career, the talented sprinter impressively won last month’s $3675 Easter Sprint Trophy (380m) at Townsville – giving the Woolers their first big feature victory.
“It was a huge thrill to win it,” said Wooler. “Every time he races it’s a sentimental time for us and each win is very important.
“This one was so special.”
John Strachin is one of the standout sprinters in 2021 and is currently leading the Townsville Greyhound of the Year points score.
The black sprinter has won 11 of his 15 starts so far this year, as well as picking up three minor placings and has accumulated 84 points, 18 in front of Inconsequential (66) with Miss Verity on 65.
The Woolers’ now-retired stayer Segredo won last year’s GOTY award and they are hoping ‘Larry’ can make it two in a row.