LINKING up with a couple of leading owner-breeders has proved a winning move for Bundaberg trainer Paul Burgess.
The new partnerships with Steve Williams (Velocity Lodge) and Patrick Gainey (Wildash team) played a big part in Burgess winning last year’s Bundaberg trainer’s premiership.
“That was the first time I had won the title,” said the trainer, who had his first greyhound in his early teens.
“It was a tremendous thrill to win it.”
And Burgess, who is determined to try to repeat the feat this year, said it came on the back of his new partnerships.
Last month he was in third place with 196 points, trailing Torbanlea-based Ricky Hassall (256) and Rockhampton’s Darren Taylor (218).
Burgess won the 2020 title with a tally of 518 points (31 wins, 36 seconds, 32 thirds) for a winning strike rate of 17 per cent (place rate 55%), beating Peter O’Reilly and Ron Brook, both on 464.
“Having a couple of good owners on board has really helped,” said the North Bundaberg-based conditioner.
Burgess says he likes to have between eight and 10 dogs in work but recently he’s had a couple of his better chasers out injured.
He said one of his kennel stars, Wildash Trapper, was only a few weeks off returning to the track.
The black sprinter (Fernando Bale-Bronelly Dancer) will be chasing his third successive win when he resumes racing after success over 460m and 550m in late March-early April.
The trainer also has a big opinion of SH Avatar-Zambora Krystal sprinter Wildash Avatar.
“She’s a nice little bitch,” he said.
“I think she is going to be something special.”
Burgess said Wildash Avatar was also on the comeback trail after receiving a nasty gash to a foot when she was stepped on during a race in mid-April.
He said it took 20 stitches to close the wound.
“But she’s recovered and should resume racing soon,” he said.
“She had her first trial the other day and I was very happy with it.”
Burgess said his interest in the sport came through his uncle, Glendyn Card, who raced dogs.
“When I was 14 he said it was time I had my own dog and I have been in the game ever since,” he said.
These days he receives huge support from his partner Christine.
“She helps out a lot with the dogs,” said the trainer, who has had some smart chasers over the years.
“One of the best was El Galo Girl.”
The daughter of El Galo and Screaming Kidz was a Best8 performer and ended her career in 2017 with a record of 29 wins and 18 placings from 81 starts, including two Oaks victories, a New Year’s Cup win and success in the Christmas Cup – all at Bundaberg.
1: How and when did you get involved in greyhound racing?
A: Through my uncle Glendyn Card and I got my first dog in 1980.
2: Who has been the greatest influence on you as a trainer?
A: A good mate of mine John Moore
3: At what age do you start preparing a pup for racing?
A: At around 16 months old.
4: How long does it take to prepare a pup for its first race?
A: Eight to 10 weeks
5: What makes a good pup?
A: A pup that has broken in well.
6: Do you do anything special when preparing a young dog for its maiden compared to a seasoned performer?
7: Do you have a set routine for all your greyhounds or do you vary training for individual runners?
A: I train all my dogs the same way.
8: Do you have any unique or unusual methods you would like to share in regard to training?
9: Do you swim your dogs as part of your training regime?
10: How frequently do you like to race your dogs?
A: Once a week.
11: What’s your training routine for dogs between races?
A: A couple of free gallops up the straight.
12: Do you do all muscle work on your dogs or do you use a professional muscle man?
A: I do my own dogs.
13: Do you do treat all injuries to your dogs yourself?
14: Which is the best greyhound you have trained?
A: Many years ago I trained a dog called Dynamic Success – he was a freak.
15: What do you consider is the best greyhound track in Australia and why?
A: Bundaberg’s great grass track.
16: What does the industry need most going forward?
A: More prizemoney and younger people getting involved.
17: What is the best advice you could give someone just starting out as a trainer?
A: Just be patient.