By David Brasch
2020 Ladbrokes Illingworth Classic (515m)
Launceston. Tasbred greyhounds only
Heats August 3. Final August 10
$14,000 to the winner
THE old dog lays around the house as if he owns it.
They call him Buddy, but he\’s best known to punters and greyhound followers as I\’m A Fencer.
Come August, the son of Go Wild Teddy-Wooreddy will bring back a host of memories for his owner Kingsley Jarman. It\’s Illingworth Classic time at Launceston and I\’m A Fencer won that special race way back in 2011.
It was one of 26 victories for the star sprinter who retired after 61 starts and $72,000 in stakes. He gave Kingsley Jarman the ride of his life, which is why Buddy has a home for life.
While victories at The Meadows and Sandown, as well as the three tracks in Tassie were highlights, he was also second in a Group 2 Healesville Cup and third in a Group 3 Devonport Cup.
\”He\’s rising 12 years old, lives in a bean bag all day long, and has the run of my home,\” said Kingsley of Buddy who was named after AFL star Buddy Franklin.
Kingsley is a Hawthorn fan and Franklin was then playing at the club.
\”David Croswell got me to buy him as a pup,\” said Kingsley. \”Barry Haewood bred him and David suggested we go and buy a pup or two.\”
From the moment he was put into work, I\’m A Fencer, named after Kingsley who is a fencing contractor, showed huge ability.
At his first start he won by 11 lengths at Devonport. It was onwards and upwards after that.
\”He was not a brilliant box dog, and after his first 10 or 12 starts he was already in top grade. He got there too quick,\” said Kingsley.
\”He was racing in an era of some fabulous Tassie dogs like Damek and Rewind. But, we beat Rewind seven out of eight times we met him.\”
Of the Illingworth Classic, Kingsley says it was his first big race success and will always be one of life\’s greatest moments for him.
\”He loved the Launceston track, came up with the red box in the final and won easily,\” said Kingsley.
Not long after the dog was transferred to Victoria to be trained by Kel Greenough. Kingsley flew to Victoria to watch him win first-up at Sandown off box five in 29.41.
\”He went to Healesville and broke the track record in the cup heat and then drew the five in the final and ran second beaten a length,\” he said.
\”But, he hurt a wrist in Victoria and eventually came home. It was said he would never race again, but we got him back and he won four more races when trained by Neville Allison.\”
After retirement, Kingsley sent I\’m A Fencer to Susan Kinnis for a stud career. He got a few bitches and some winners, but not enough. He came home to Kings Meadows in Launceston to retire with Kingsley.
\”I take him down to the local park every now and then,\” he said. \”Buddy is still in good nick. He is a lovely, gentle old dog who has some funny eating habits. He likes scrambled eggs on toast.\”
Kingsley Jarman has been in greyhound racing for 35 years. He was working security at the Hobart Casino when a fellow worker got him interested in greyhound racing.
\”I actually bought my first dog from New Zealand,\” he said.
Kingsley has just bought himself a pup, by Aston Dee Bee-Hooti Tooti with obvious hopes of another I\’m A Fencer in the future.
That pup will need to be pretty good to just live in the shadow of Illingworth Classic winner I\’m A Fencer.