Britton has faith in youngsters as stayers


Caption: Trainer Tim Britton will be hoping promising youngster Red Dirt Road can put his best foot forward in the 5th Grade (630m) at Ipswich on Saturday night. (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos)

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Ipswich Club’s Weekly Wrap with MIKE HILL

CHURCHABLE-based trainer Tim Britton is confident littermates Red Dirt Road and Small Town can develop into handy stayers.

“They’re only young and still learning,” Britton said this week of the brother-sister combination.

He admits they take a little time to get going and won’t be winning too many shorter races.

“(But) they are going to run 700m,” the young trainer confidently predicted.

“I think they could even run it now.”

The pair, who Britton said were coming along nicely, are bred for distance.

They are by super stayer Space Star (Bekim Bale-Tonto Tears), who began his career winning first-up over 618m at Richmond, and out of the smart middle-distance performer Shiny Bright.

Space Star (39: 25-4-5; $453,900) was placed in nine of his 10 staying Group finals, winning four including the three big G1s – Galaxy (715m) at Cannington, Zoom Top (725m) at The Meadows and the Association Cup (720m) at Wentworth Park.

Small Town (box 1) and Red Dirt Road (box 3) will clash for the third time in three weeks over 630m at Ipswich on Saturday night.

Red Dirt Road showed his potential with a sustained come-from-behind first-up victory (37.65s) over the distance two runs back after winning a 520m Ipswich Novice (30.99s) in mid-December.

And the big loping chaser – he tops the scales at 35.5kgs – made up many lengths last week to finish a close-up third behind My Genie and Tarawi Lola, while Small Town – also a highly impressive Novice winner (30.98s) here three starts back – has been a disappointing favourite at her two efforts over the 630m.

But Britton said there were some excuses.

“Small Town has had a bit of bad luck in her last couple of runs although some of it was her doing,” he said.

“She is still learning.”

He feels Red Dirt Road is probably going the better of the two at the moment.

“He’s strong and he comes home hard although he tends to use a lot of the track,” the trainer said.

“I think he’s more suited to an outside box.”

Britton said if either of his two were in a good position (close to the lead) down the back straight they could be hard to beat.

“They’ll certainly come home hard,” he said.

Logical favourite appears to be the Tom Tzouvelis-trained Scarlatti (box 5), a superb winner over the trip two starts back.

Scarlatti dominated that race from box one, leading all the way in a slick 37.05s.

A repeat run would make it hard for her rivals, although the dark brindle chaser did miss the start in her Golden Sands heat (600m) at Albion Park last week finishing fifth to Fahey’s Magic, winner of Thursday night’s $150,000 G1 final.

Others with chances include the Casey Dargusch-trained in-form Bye Bye Swiper, attempting the trip for the first time, and the Peter O’Reilly-prepared Tarawi Lola, narrowly beaten by My Genie in a similar class last week.

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IPSWICH Greyhound Club members are mourning the sudden passing of long-time club employee Lenard (Lenny) Powell.

Lenny, 63, had worked in various roles as part of the track maintenance team, including starter, for 16 years. 

He passed away in hospital last Saturday after suffering a sudden and unexpected illness.

Lenny, a friend to many at the club, is survived by his wife Donna and three children.

A club spokesperson said ‘he will be very much missed by everyone at the club’.

A funeral service to celebrate Lenny’s life will be held on Wednesday (January 10) at 9.30am at the Chapel of Sylvan Funerals, 22 Warwick Rd, Ipswich, with refreshments to follow at the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club. 


SUPER consistent sprinter Willow’s Gift claimed Ipswich’s final ‘greyhound of the month’ award for 2023.

The well-bred black sprinter (Sennachie-Run With Faith) dominated December with four wins and a second from five appearances for a total of 23 points.

Owned by Colin Huxtable and trained at Milbong, near Boonah, by Daniel Lee, Willow’s Gift only began racing in late April and already has an impressive 10-win, five-placing record from 21 starts with prizemoney topping $35,000.

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THE Darren Johnstone-trained sprinter Galloping Black will be crowned Ipswich Greyhound Of The Year at the club’s special awards ceremony on Saturday, February 3 – the night of the $112,500 Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden Final (520m).

Galloping Black (Keybow-Bogie Lilly) raced 44 times at the track during the year for 11 wins, mainly over the 431m trip, and 18 placings.

Meanwhile, Peter O’Reilly has won the male trainers’ premiership with 542 points, Pauline Byers (female trainer) with 678 points and Board Racing Syndicate (leading owner) 555 points.


OWNERS and trainers are advised that the Ipswich club has programmed an extra trialling session for next Thursday.

Trials will begin at the conclusion of that day’s meeting, running from 4.45pm until 9pm.

A club spokesperson said the decision for the extra trialling period came after Tuesday’s meeting and Wednesday’s trials were cancelled due to weather conditions.


NORTHERN NSW trainer Pat Lavis rugged up a winning treble at Ipswich last Friday.

Lavis, based at Treheagle, near Lismore, was successful with talented sprinter Identity Unknown, well-supported at $2.60 in the 3rd/4th Grade (431m); $11 chance Edge Gambler saluted in the following race – the top grade sprint (431m) – and Lamia Milania, also well-fancied at $2.90, completed the threesome in the penultimate 5th Grade (431m) event.


SPONSORSHIP spots are quickly filling up for Ipswich’s $18,500 Corporate Dollars Challenge for fifth grade sprinters in February.

Already three spots have been taken and officials expect the final five slots to go fast.

Heats of the Challenge will be run on Saturday, February 10, with the $12,025-to-the-winner final a week later. Each sponsor will be given a runner in the final with the winning sponsor receiving naming rights on the finish post for 12 months.



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