Pauline Byers continues Col’s success
By MIKE HILL
“I’M just doing what Col did for more than 40 years.”
That’s how Drayton (near Toowoomba, Qld) trainer Pauline Byers explains her current run of success.
Pauline landed one of the Ipswich club’s first feature finals of the new year last month, after a highly successful 2020 season in which she dominated the female trainers premiership and rugged up four of the top five dogs, including Greyhound of the Year Spring Rock.
Her late husband Col Byers was an industry stalwart and a leading trainer for many years.
Last month, Pauline’s smart sprinter Spring Cleo impressively won the $12,600 Ipswich Corporate Dollars Challenge Final over 520 metres.
“I was a bit shocked with the win although I thought Spring Cleo would run well, particularly after she drew box one,” she said.
“She’s been very consistent since arriving from South Australia early last year.”
Spring Cleo (Fernando Bale-Derenger) won first-up for Byers over 431m at Ipswich in mid-April after coming from SA with just one win from 17 starts.
The light fawn bitch was strong in winning the $8400-to-the-winner Challenge, beating the fast-finishing $3.40 equal favourite Ninetymile King (Bianca Whitford) by one-and-a-quarter lengths with the Merv Page-prepared Burns Like Gas ($81) half-a-length away third.
Spring Cleo ($7) clocked 30.64s for the journey and the victory took her career record to 12 wins and 19 placings from 51 starts.
The win also gave Byers a winning treble for the night.
“She’s only had six runs over the distance and that’s her best time,” the trainer said.
“She’s going really well. We usually get to the finals, but we don’t seem to win.”
But this time Byers had confidence in her sprinter.
She said she was always confident in running even when Spring Cleo was headed momentarily approaching the top turn.
“I felt confident that if she jumped well she could win, particularly from the inside box,” she said.
It was the promising chaser’s second feature success in six months.
She clocked 30.76s when she won the $5250 Lady Trainers Final at Ipswich last August.
“The team is currently going really well,” said Byers, who has 20 dogs in work.
“We’re only doing what Col had done for years.”
Col Byers had dominated at Ipswich in the decade before his passing in September, 2019, winning the male trainers premiership from 2011 to 2019.
In that period he also produced several greyhound of the year winners and his success was boosted by his strong association with the powerful Board Racing syndicate, headed by SA-based father Greg Board, of Spring Gun fame, and son Scott, who is based at Spring Hill in NSW .
Pauline has continued that success with the Board family.
She won the Ipswich female trainers premiership last year with an outstanding tally of 794 points – 189 in front of Serena Lawrance and, in a victory for the fairer sex, they dominated their male counterparts.
Darren Johnstone won the male premiership with 541 points.
“We out-did the men,” said Pauline, who credits her success to her late husband. “We were by Col’s side for more than 40 years.
“We’re just following what he did over those years … the same feeding routine and training regime.
“Col and I were always together, going to the races, training the dogs.”
Pauline also paid tribute to her family and to the Boards for their continued association with the kennel.
“My son Shane helps out a lot and my daughter Joanne looks after the dogs when we’re away racing,” she said.
“Shane is one of the reasons the team is performing so well. Greg (Board) sends dogs up from South Australia.”
Apart from GOTY winner Spring Rock and feature winner Spring Cleo, Byers said she also has another smart youngster- Spring Bowler – in her kennels, who came to Byers after three winless runs at Murray Bridge.
The Fabregas-Sheeza Nitro youngster, as of last month, had raced three times for Byers for three wins.
“He’s going real good,” the trainer said. “It looks like he’s going to be all right.”
Meanwhile, the Wayne Scott-prepared Barbie’s Beach blasted her way to victory in the $5250 Just Greyhound Photos Dash For Cash (288m) at Ipswich last month.
Barbie’s Beach ($4.80) had too much toe for Jayson Valentine’s Fat Turtle ($19), with the Terry Priest-trained Esther’s Angel ($10) third.