Thursday 23 November 2017

Patience pays off in finding right buyer for Dancer

Tom O'Neill

When you are training greyhounds you always dream of coming up with a really good one. My father Tom always had dogs and, while people might think we are very much involved with horses, my brother Jonjo is the only lunatic in the family.

I began training six years ago, and the biggest thrill to date was with Dream Walker, which ran up the Puppy Derby at Harold's Cross and then was only just beaten in the 2011 Irish Derby final by Razldazl George.

We have been very excited about Glenanore Dancer since he started trialling. I brought him to Banteer for a trial and Michael Crowley said he would give me €10,000 for him. I told him I wanted €20,000. We brought him along slowly with a couple of trials at Cork and Clonmel. The second of those took a fair bit out of him and it took him 10 days to recover.

I then gave him a sprint trial at Cork before Christmas where he did 17.59. We entered him for the Red Mills Unraced but when he was drawn to run on the second night we had to give him another trial and he did 28.81 around Clonmel when it was running slowly.

We are delighted with the way he has started, winning in 28.49 and 28.48. I had a call on the Monday after his first race enquiring about him and then there were two more calls. We decided to toughen it out and when I found out that one of the parties was inclined to leave the dog with me, I decided to go that route and the dog will probably stay with me for the year.

When he is finished in the Clonmel stake we will give him a little break but he will have to have a trial or two around Limerick because the traps there are slightly different to Clonmel. He would need a spin or two around it to be ready for the Kirby Memorial. He is drawn a bit far out tomorrow in four but we are happy with him.

We only keep about 20 dogs at any time and 10 or 12 of those would be racing dogs. It's a small team here with only my wife Breda to help, and then our son Tom helps out at weekends when he comes home from work.

We have a litter sister to Glenanore Dancer which had to be pin-fired but is ready to run now and the dam Marbeck Star has a four-month-old litter of three dogs and five bitches to Makeshift. She has bred well so far and hopefully there will be a good one or two in the latest litter also.

In the meantime it is fingers crossed with Glenanore Dancer.

For more information on greyhound racing in Ireland this weekend check out

Irish Independent

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