Capalaba King’s last race

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By DAVID BRASCH

THE ‘King of Capalaba’ Jimmy Pritchard has died.

Veteran Queensland greyhound followers will fondly remember the name Jimmy Pritchard who died in May a week before his 84th birthday.

He will best be remembered as the man who guided the racing career of former Gabba champ Iron Hawk who raced in the name of his owner Peter Rayner. Pritchard and Rayner were a lethal combination in those days constantly bringing fear into bookmakers.

Pritchard lived most of his life at Nudgee Beach and still had a set of kennels in his garage.

His long-time mate, former Gabba and Albion Park lure driver Jack McDonald, remembers Jimmy as ‘a great man, colossal bloke and as good a greyhound trainer as there ever was’.

Pritchard was a life-time wharfie working alongside other greyhound men like Ronny Jenkins, Eddie Little Snr, and Ray Mellors.

\”Jimmy would spend three months getting a dog right,\” said Jenkins.

\”But,\” said Jack McDonald. \”When he declared one, it was just a matter of what price we would get.\”

Jenkins remembers Pritchard having great success for bookmaker Ian Fletcher with littermates Innisfail Lord and Innisfail Miss.

McDonald remembers travelling to Wyong and collecting after a massive betting plunge on Red Rule and Timber Top.

\”Jimmy took four to Wyong and Red Rule and Timber Top did not have the form the other two had,\” said Jack. \”But Jimmy declared those two and Timber Top was backed from 10-1 to odds on in the last.

\”The bookies were not happy at all.\”

McDonald remembers Sherry\’s Return, a little white bitch who won numerous races, as one of Jimmy\’s favourites.

\”I got to know Jimmy in the mid-1960s,\” said Jack. \”He talked me into applying to be lure driver at Lawnton and I got the job. His father Henry wrote me a reference when I applied for the job as lure driver at the Gabba.\”

Pritchard ran a straight track at Nudgee, right where the current BP servo is placed, across the road from Nudgee golf course. Regulars at the track in those days included Ross Beavis and his son, Darren who would become CEO of Greyhounds Qld.

\”Jimmy had his last dog about the 1980s,\” said Jack. \”It wasn\’t long before his wife Desley died.

\”I got him into fishing and he relished that life.\”

In the past decade Jimmy has suffered health problems but forever remained a greyhound man … one of the best the industry in Queensland has seen.

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