Greyhound Racing Club
2020 T.G.R.C Greyhound of the Year winner
Jo, Andrew, Drew and Haley Wooler accepting the trophy for GOTY

Townsville Club News – March – Edition # 1


All good things must come to an end. That’s what could only describe the mix emotions surrounding retirement of far North Queensland’s most popular chaser and recent 2020 Townsville Greyhound of the Year champ in Segredo following a brilliant track career.


Trained in the last 12 months of its career by Andrew Wooler and the Wooler family, the son of Bella Infrared and Dokami graced the showgrounds circuit for his entire 84 career starts.


Segredo won 13 races from 380m to 643m along with 30 minors and $29,785 in prizemoney.


Better known as “Liam” by the Wooler Racing, the red-fawn dog would face the starter on what would be his final career run, sadly scumming to injury and finished a gallant fifth.


Liam had a strong association with Townsville and will be remembered as a great chaser.


As one door closes another door opens, Liam is now being prepared for a life of luxury.


Follow the Wooler Racing page on Facebook to see when Liam will be ready for adoption.


Following our opening article, the 2020 Townsville Greyhound of The Year awards were staged at the Sun Hotel recently, having recognized the great moments of the racing season.


Congrats to the Wooler Family on Segredo being crowned the 2020 Greyhound of the Year.


Listed below are the award winners following an unprecedented year due to COVID-19.

  • T.G.R.C Broodbitch Of The Year: Blocker's Angel

  • T.G.R.C Stud Dog Of the Year: Barcia Bale

  • T.G.B.O.T.A Broodbitch Of The Year: Blocker's Angel

  • T.G.R.C Most improved Trainer Award: Merv Parker

  • T.G.R.C Catcher Of The Year: Bernie Fraser

  • T.G.B.O.T.A Encouragement Award: Alisha Newnham

  • T.G.R.C Club Person Award: Jackie Belford

  • T.G.B.O.T.A Trainers Strike Rate Award: Harold Hovi

  • T.G.B.O.T.A Owner Of The Year: Andrew Wooler

  • T.G.B.O.T.A Runner-up Trainer Of The Year: Brad Belford

  • T.G.B.O.T.A Trainer Of The Year: Rhonda Essery

  • T.G.R.C Trainer Of The Year: Brad Belford

  • T.G.R.C Owner Of The Year: Andrew Wooler

  • T.G.R.C Greyhound Of The Year: Segredo


Reminder to all owners & trainers that the T.G.R.C Easter Sprint is fast approaching, with heats to commence on Tuesday March 30 with the final held a week later Tuesday April 6.

Tropical Friday a success in the North
By Brennan Ryan

The inaugural “Tropical Friday” theme was a concept well supported by participants at a latest Friday meeting held at the showgrounds with everyone wearing the tropical attire.

Handlers and catchers wore their shirts and while pictures were televised via the sky channel.

The concept will create interest and both RQ and the TGRC should be well congratulated.
Just a month into our 2021 racing season, there has been plenty of highlights both local and regional with Townsville-trained dogs standing well proving they can compete anywhere.
Burdell trainer Rhonda Essery was a recent victor of the spoils by venturing to Albion Park in contesting the now well-established Racing Queensland Country Cup Final over 520 metres.
Stratford along with Diva Valentine and Sprightly Bro represented Townsville contesting the $8,400-to-the-winner event as Rockhampton and Bundaberg were too represented as well.
However, it was Stratford who was too strong in the race leading all the way from box rise.
The son of Fernando Bale and Jingjing scored by 3 lengths from Sprightly Bro running 29.96.
Stratford has won 2 of his 3 race starts in South East QLD including a Grade 5 520m Final.
With January well and truly behind us so far, the current racing in Townsville has been outstanding to say the least with trainers and their greyhounds producing the best each week.

Stats so far courtesy of the Greyhound Recorder website prove to be interesting very results.

Stats for January from 01/01 to 31/01

Top 4 leading Greyhounds by number of wins:

# John Strachin – 4 Wins
# Wahroonga Lass – 4 Wins
# Rumble Ghost – 3 Wins
# Sensational – 3 Wins

Leading trainer by number of wins:

# Bradley Belford – 18 wins

Remind to all participants that the 2020 Townsville Greyhound of the Year function will be held at the Sun Hotel on Saturday Night, 20th February – limited numbers are available. If you wish to attend, please let the club know in advance to arrange the seating numbers.
Townsville’s Country Cup Representatives Locked In
By Brennan Ryan (24.01.2021)

Graded chasers Stratford and Diva Valentine will represent the Townsville Greyhound Racing Club in the Racing Queensland Country Cup Final at Albion Park next month.

This follows Tuesday night’s running of the Country Cup semi-final at the Townsville showgrounds, where the Rhonda Essery-trained Stratford had proven too strong for his rivals by coming away to score a determined victory in running 28.90 seconds from box six.

Victory in the Country Cup semi gave Stratford - a son of Fernando Bale and Jingjing - his 11th win, on top of nine minors from 31 starts for the Burdell-owned and trained chaser.

Diva Valentine finished a gallant second with Sprightly Bro running third, beaten 4 lengths.
Trainer Rhonda Essery commented saying Stratford has matured well into a nice race dog.

“I purchased both Stratford and few of his littermates through Peter and Sonia Davis from New South Wales, the dog has just turned two so he will get better with age,” Essery said.

“Sectionals-wise I have no doubt whatsoever that Stratford can be a strong 500-metre dog.”
Rhonda will now make travel plans for Stratford to be sent south to trainer Peter O’Reilly.
Townsville has remained dominate in the Country Cup series, winning two of its past three runnings, and Rhonda hopes her record in the Final will improve further third time around.

“We’ve had two runners in the race and I think Stratford will be a good chance,” she said.
So far, Rockhampton has run their Country Cup qualifier with trainer Dallas Beckett preparing two runners with Craig’s Regret and Qualified, while at Bundaberg trainer Ricky Hassall will be also represented with two runners in Nerve Settler and Prince Cosmic.
The field for the Racing Queensland Country Cup Final will be announced in the coming weeks.
Talented field chasing North Queensland Riches
By Brennan Ryan

Greyhound racing doesn't get any better in Townsville with the North Queensland Cup Final shaping up to be an intriguing affair this coming Tuesday night when the lids fly open for the $17,800 final.

Connections of all eight finalists nervously wait for the box draw being the crucial key to the race. Gumlow trainer Brad Belford has strength in numbers lining up for the prestigious series, with Cult Hero taking full use of the rails draw in landing the opening heat of the cup series, running away to score by a strong three length win from Over Time in 28.96sec bringing up his 22nd career victory.

"Very proud to have three runners heading into the race," trainer Brad Belford stated this week. "Box one was a massive favour to Cult Hero in the heats, and is currently racing in the best form of his career to date, he would need to draw the rails again in what looks a real strong race for the final.

The son of Sh Avatar and Flash Glance has been a great money spinner for owner Doug Warrington. Major Gibson returned from a race fall in the Young Guns final behind Excitable Jack to land the third and final heat of the cup in holding Awesome Alex at bay to run 29.32 coming off box six. With the premier trainer well in contention of making it back to back wins in the North Queensland Cup; last years' winner Murphy Rumble qualified for the race in running second to Bubbles And Brie.

"Murphy Rumble has gone six weeks without a full 498m run and despite his injuries it was great to see the dog finish off the race well, I'm hoping he should take full benefit from the run," Belford said.  First run in 2010, the North Queensland Cup is for greyhounds domiciled through the north. Belford won the second running of the cup with Don't Listen and claimed it last year with Murphy Rumble.
Cult Hero - Heat 1
Bubbles And Brie
By Brennan Ryan

A winning combination between trainer Merv Parker and owner Sarah Johnson has paid in big ways for their talented bitch Bubbles And Brie who has taken full domination of the showground's venue.

The daughter Thirty Talks stopped the clocked in a slick 28.95 in heat two jumping from box eight. Bubbles And Brie's proud owner Sarah Johnson is thrilled to see her chaser thriving up in Townsville. "I'm over the moon, she's loving it up there, the track seems to really suit her," Sarah explained.

"She is going from strength to strength. Thanks to Tony (Brett) we were fortunate to have a contact in Townsville with Merv and Tony Parker. Bubbles And Brie has been treated like a member of their family and they've been doing an amazing job with her; I can't wait to be on track to watch the race.

A win in Tuesday's North Queensland Cup will see Merv claim victory in the race for the second time in nine years courtesy of his former star galloper Cherokee Bob winning the 2012 edition in 29.22sec.

The field for this Tuesday night's 2020 North Queensland Cup promises to produce a brilliant finale.

Bubbles And Brie - Heat 2

Excitable Jack triumphs in Townsville Young Guns Final
By Brennan Ryan

Gumlu trainer Harold Hovi claimed his first KEYFLO Townsville Young Guns Final (380m) at the showgrounds on Tuesday night with Excitable Jack continuing his great form taking the race honours.

Away only fairly from box three, the son of Head Bound and Bella's Fancy took a rails run heading into the first turn when the field bunched together, he worked hard into second behind Mali's Missile.

Early leader Major Gibson came to grief when he collided with Patty Talks which changed the scene. But turning for home the Young Guns Final looked to be a great three-way finish and Excitable Jack warmed to the task in powering away to the line in what look a memorable result to the sprint feature.

The black sprinter scored convincingly from Mali's Missile with Editor away third running 22.27secs.  Excitable Jack has now recorded 8 victories with 6 minors from 21 starts and $13,000 in prizemoney. His trainer Harold Hovi declared post-race that Excitable Jack looked out of contention for the start. "When he missed the start, I seriously thought our chances were truly squandered," Hovi described.

"To my complete shock when I saw the field turn for home, then I realised Excitable Jack had hit the front he certainly got on with the task. The dog is racing well and deserved to land a feature race. Harold explains it has been a matter of time and patience to allow Excitable Jack to mature with age.

"Desma (wife) and I have taken Excitable Jack along one race at a time, he needed to improve with experience and since August, he continues to impress me and deserved to land a big win," said Hovi. "Excitable Jack is high in grade over the sprint so now we'll look to concentrate on the 498 metres. "Overall the dog was a cheap buy and he has certainly paid his way having won eight races thus far."

Racing fans of Major Gibson were concerned with the serious fall occurred during mid race, though his trainer Brad Belford reported on social media the next morning, albeit the fall he looks sound.

Excitable Jack
gets there in an exiting
Townsville Young Guns Final
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