Caption: Birthday boy David Bailey and family and friends celebrate Me And You’s Novice win at Ipswich. Photo: Just Greyhound Photos.
By MIKE HILL
TRAINER David Bailey was given a ‘double birthday surprise’ at Ipswich in late March.
In front of family and friends, his well-bred bitch Me And You (Fernando Bale-Miss Gingin) impressively won the David Bailey’s 50th Birthday Novice (520m).
Bailey’s wife Danni had organised the race name as part of his birthday celebrations.
“The race named didn’t come as a complete surprise,” said Bailey, who has only had his trainer’s licence for 12 months.
“But the win did. Me And You hadn’t won for four months.
“She’s had a few injury setbacks and her form had slipped after a promising start to her career.”
The black bitch began racing last October with consecutive thirds in maiden class over 520m at Ipswich before breaking through for her first win at the trip in early November, clocking an encouraging 30.91s.
Bailey, speaking from North Queensland last month during a week’s break on Magnetic Island, said Me And You had ‘returned to form when it counted’.
“It was a very nice surprise (to have her win on my birthday),” he said.
“She’s a slow beginner and usually comes home hard. To see her in front with 400m remaining was a huge shock. She’s never been in front so early like that.”
Me And You, well-supported at $3.30, was again slow to leave the boxes, but zipped up along the fence when the leaders hit trouble on the first turn.
From there the Bailey sprinter built on her advantage, finally winning by six-and-a-half lengths from the Cynthia Suttle-prepared Have A Heart ($6.50) with Sam Lees’ Cow Palace ($14) one-and-three-quarter lengths back third.
“It was a great thrill to have family and friends trackside,” said Bailey. “They don’t normally come to the races. A couple had even travelled up from Newcastle.”
Bailey, who is based at Oxenford on the Gold Coast, has two dogs in work – Me And You and littermate Danni’s On Fire and a group of six-month-old pups from his former racing bitch Bar Girls (Aston Dee Bee-Lay This) by the talented nine-time Group finalist Maurice Minor (Cosmic Rumble-Shabeky).
“I’ve owned greyhounds here and there for the past 10 years and been in several syndicates,” he said. “Last year I decided to give training a go.
“I’m good friends with Tom Tzouvelis and he has been a great help over the past 12 months.”