Caption: Brad Northfield was over the moon when his speedy dog History won at Albion Park in January. (Photo above: Box 1 Photography)
(Each month Chase puts the spotlight on a person and/or their ‘best friend’ – a story that gives an insight into the true heart of greyhound racing. It showcases all that is good in this sport and is a monthly tribute to much-loved greyhound identity Daryl ‘Albert’ Gleeson)
By DAVID BRASCH
NORTHERN Rivers greyhound legend Brad Northfield was swanning around Albion Park mid-January as if history had been made.
In fact that is exactly what had happened.
Brad and his clients, Toni Graham and her husband Mark, had landed a Thursday night Novice with the son of My Redeemer-Fancy Dancer called History.
Brad had to put on his thinking cap to remember his previous Albion Park Thursday night winner.
\”It was Go Wild Me in a graded race way back in 2009,\” Brad said. “As you can see I don\’t like going far from home.\”
Brad, a popular member of the Northfield family, has been rearing pups for the Grahams for the past few years on his Backmede property.
Mark and Toni pushed him to train a few and one of those was History, a dog the Grahams bought from NSW not long after education.
He had broken down in his race debut, a 380m maiden at Townsville, way back in July.
\”He had a couple of bad injuries,\” Brad said. \”He\’d injured a metacarpal but the worst was a stopper bone injury. They usually don\’t come back from those.\”
Brad sourced a remedy for the stopper bone injury, rubbed it on History\’s leg three times a day until he felt he was on top of the problem.
\”At first I strapped the dog\’s leg when we first put him back into work but he was galloping sound,\” Brad said. \”We put him into a maiden at Casino and he bolted in, so I got out of my comfort zone and headed to Albion Park.
\”At his first look at the track History trialled 30.17, which was fantastic.
\”I put him straight into a Novice, but the track was a bit sticky on the night and he may have been a bit flat after the trial. He\’s a speed dog. Milligan got a shot at him from the back straight and ran him down.
\”But, we took him back the next week and he was very impressive. It was my first Albion Park Thursday night winner since 2009.\”
That dog, Go Wild Me, was a very smart galloper.
\”He ran in the big Lismore Christmas Maiden final in one of the very best of those finals,\” Brad said. \”Andrew Monaghan won it with a dog called Christian Congo, but also in the race were Cosmic Rumble and High Earner. My dog had beaten High Earner in the heat.
\”Those two did go on to do special things.\”
Brad said his best greyhounds have always been sent to Don McMillan to be trained in Sydney. Don gave up training a decade ago and Brad has been to Wentworth Park only a handful of times since.
\”I took Bralyn County there five weeks in a row and he won five in a row, 11 straight in all,\” Brad said.
He realises History is a ‘city dog’ and admits he\’ll be back in town with him.
\”He\’s a good little speed dog which will win him a lot of races,\” Brad said. \”The remedy to fix him worked wonders. It looks like I\’ll be back at Albion Park a bit more often now.\”