By TERRY WILSON
GOING to the dog racing on a Sunday is an infrequent occasion for leading trainer Tony Brett – only because the Sabbath is usually reserved for a far bigger lure.
Brett broke his usual Sunday routine last month and came up trumps when he landed the Con Sciacca Capalaba Cup (366m) with Hara’s Clyde.
It was a good win by the young dog (Fernando Bale-Hara’s Annie) which is owned by Tony Glover.
But the story of the day, away from the track, was that Hara’s Clyde headed off to the straight track at Capalaba with the blessing of the good Lord.
You see, Brett, his wife Fleur and the kids are deeply religious. They belong to the Pentecostal Church and Sundays normally see them attending services in Inala, 45 minutes away from their Grandchester headquarters.
But in one way the dreaded coronavirus played a part in what was to come later that day.
With social distancing laws in place, no one can gather as a congregation so the Bretts watched a service on-line in their kennels as they prepared runners for the drive to Capalaba.
Brett is a devout Christian – he says he found God about a year after he married Fleur – and it would take something extraordinary to keep him away from attending (or watch on-line) a Pentecostal service.
“We love going to church and that is normally our Sundays, so we tend not to race a lot those days,” said Brett.
“But now it has been on-line so we watched the service that way while we were doing the dogs.
“Then we hopped into the car to go racing.”
Asked if he prayed for his dogs while watching the service, Brett said: “You do, you’re always praying for the blessings and for a nice safe run.
“Having a faith is a massive part of our lives and you always believe you’re going to get the blessings.
“Well. It worked out that way (on Capalaba Cup morning).”
Brett found his faith via wife Fleur, who was deeply religious when he first met her. One thing led to another and it wasn’t long before Brett found his faith.
Brett also revealed that neither of his late parents, Dave and Jenny, were church-goers.
“In fact, to be honest, Dad was an atheist,” he says.
“I just found a faith and have loved it.”
The Pentecostal church benefits from Brett’s exploits. Ten per cent of his winnings are tipped into the church’s tithing.
“That’s what we believe in. We give 10 per cent of what we get back to God.”
It goes without saying that Brett cops plenty of ribbing about his faith, things like whenever his runners get a favourable draw – but it is all water off a duck’s back.
This was the case when Hara’s Clyde drew perfectly in box four for the Cup final before running down a handy one in Never Walk Alone in 19.69 seconds.
Brett’s other finalist Hammer Down came in third in a blanket finish when less than six lengths separated the first six across the line and when all six broke the 20-second barrier.
For Brett, who has applied the polish to a number of Group 1 winners, it was his biggest success at the bayside Brisbane straight track.
He had previously won the Derby with Zabdon Lambo and the Michael Miller Memorial with Mr Quicksilver, but that was a long time ago.
The Cup this year, a Listed event, had $17,500 for first – which adds up to a handy sum going to the Pentecostal church.
Brett confirmed he will have a look at Hara’s Clyde going for a start in the National Straight Track Championship, should it be run at Capalaba later in the year.