Camel racing led Monique into greyhound ownership

\"\"Caption: Monique Annetts (right) with daughter Lilly and trainer Andrew Bell after a winning double at Richmond. (Photo by Lachlan Naidu Photography.)

By GARY CLARK

MONIQUE Annetts, a bubbly business entrepreneur, organised a camel race meeting at Gosford three years ago which, surpisingly, then led her into the ownership of greyhounds.

Monique, 41, is full of life and turns any dream she has had into reality. Those dreams include the ownership of racehorses and a very popular Mexican restaurant in Sydney’s west.

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Monique and it’s hard to keep up with her as she bounces from one business to another.

Monique’s success started eight years ago when she took up a stall at the Glenbrook and Glebe markets.

“I had some success each week but I thought, why not start my own markets?”she said.

And that’s exactly what she did!

Monique now operates markets in both NSW and Queensland, including one of Sydney’s largest at Fairfield Showgrounds.

The Saturday markets there are run by the Fairfield Council while the Wednesday markets are under Monique’s control, along with the long-running and popular Preston’s Trash and Treasure markets and also the markets at Luddenham.

Monique is currently working to open up night markets on the Gold Coast and at North Lakes in the Sunshine State.

Not only does Monique operate popular markets, she also has the flair for major events, just another one of her ‘light bulb’ ideas and, once again, success follows her every move.

She has contracts with both the Parramatta and Penrith councils where she programmes events like the Anzac Day service and the very popular hot air balloon early morning flights on Australia Day.

Another of Monique’s ideas was to have regional camel race meetings around NSW and Qld. So, a year ago, she had a meeting set down at Gosford on the Central Coast.

“I had to use both greyhound and harness racing facilities to run these meetings so I was in contact with racing people,” said Monique.

During a conversation with Ryan Freeman, the manager of the Gosford grounds, it was suggested that Monique get into greyhound ownership as she had already raced thoroughbreds.

“A month later I received a call that a bitch by Barcia Bale x Lochinvar Holly was for sale for $3500, so this was my chance and I took it,” she said.

The chaser was named Princess Annetts.

Six months after that purchase Monique bought Duchess Annetts (Fernando Bale x Lochinvar Amour), both from breeder Kevin Gordon.

Princess Annetts won her maiden at Bathurst in May last year and has also won at Richmond and is a four-time winner at Nowra.

She has now had seven wins after 30 starts.

Duchess Annetts has won nine of 31 starts with 14 minor placings. She has won at Bathurst, Richmond and Wentworth Park which gave Monique her first city winner.

Both bitches have since been transferred to the Qld kennel of Barry Kitchener with Princess Annetts winning at Albion Park in May this  year and the ‘Duchess’ winning three straight at Rockhampton.

Both chasers were with Rob Tyler in Sydney before going to Qld and it was on his advice that Monique gave both bitches to trainer Andrew Bell while they were here in NSW as Tyler had to forgo training at the time.

“I didn’t know a great deal about Andrew being new to the sport, so I went to his property to see the set-up and was amazingly surprised and highly impressed,” she said. “It certainly is a full-time operation he has so I had no hesitation to offer Andrew the dogs.

“I then made contact with Mark Gatt and told him if he had any dogs for sale to let me know.”

This has led Monique into increasing her ownership and she is now one of Bell’s biggest clients.

She has Ritza Daniel, Unlawful Assault, Ritza Tommy (a half-share with Andrew), Good Time Lenny and Malin Beg Millie.

As Monique does, ideas continue to come and she has now got more new people involved with her dogs.

“I have two people that are with Coolmore Stud in the partnership with Good Time Lenny and also a couple of clients with the Penrith Panthers Club who have shares now in Malin Beg Millie,” she said.

Good Time Lenny is flying at the moment with eight wins from 16 starts at Richmond, Dapto and Wentworth Park.

The adrenalin rush of racing has been in Monique’s blood for the last three years after winning a prize in a raffle when at a cancer charity event at Hawksebury races.

“I won a prize which was a Sunday at Gai Waterhouse’s stables,” she said.

“I thought nothing of it and thought it might be an interesting morning so I went along. And after seeing the horses and talking with Gai, I knew I had to get one of my own.”

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