Caption: Young NSW race caller Dan Missen behind the binoculars.
Caption: Star chaser Jungle Deuce (Ray Smith) took the honours in last year’s inaugural Ladbrokes Brother Fox Classic at Dubbo
By Chase Editor PAT McLEOD
SHAYNE Stiff can feel the pride rising – within himself and the Dubbo Greyhound Racing Club.
And the reasons are tangible. In late May some of the country’s best chasers will be drawn to Dubbo because of what he, his hard-worming committee and the central western NSW town have created.
On Saturday, May 21, Dubbo will host the second running of the Brother Fox Classic. The inaugural race, which celebrates the club’s most famous home-bred greyhound, was a resounding success last year.
This time around it has been promoted to Group 3 status and the prizemoney has been boosted, with an extra $10,000 to the winner (now $50,000).
Stiff, the long-time club president, has reason to be proud of the progression.
“There is a lot of pride surrounding what we do at this club, especially concerning this race,” he said.
“Steve Kavanagh (who guided Brother Fox from humble beginnings at Dubbo to become one of the nation’s best ever race and stud dogs) is a good mate. I actually caught him (Brother Fox) a couple of times. He is undoubtedly the best dog to come out of Dubbo.
“This race, the Ladbrokes Brother Fox classic, puts this great race dog up on a pedestal. It gives the race meaning.”
However, Stuff said the club’s recent achievements stretched beyond the creation and success of the Brother Fox event.
More than 1500 patrons, a club record, gathered for the March final of the inaugural Country Classic at Dubbo’s Dawson Park.
“Wherever I go now people are asking me about the club and how they want to come racing at Dubbo,” Stiff said.
“These are exciting times and an indication that the hard work we have put in across many years is paying dividends.”
Club secretary Courtney Norbury said Stiff, his committee and the many volunteers deserved the accolades the club was now receiving.
“Shayne is very passionate about this club and its future,” Norbury said. “The club is going well … really well.
“We are looking forward to the Brother Fox finals night on Saturday, May 21. Of course racing will be the focus, but there will be a real family flavour to the night.
“There is already plenty of interest from trainers from all over New South Wales, but we are also excited by the interest from Dubbo locals. Plenty have been to the track for the first time in recent months and the comment we are hearing most is ‘we will be back’.”
Norbury said major sponsor Ladbrokes had boosted prizemoney to the major races with an extra $5000 to the winner of the Ladbrokes Bill & Peg Miller Memorial Cup (516m) for greyhounds with 0-2 wins now worth $15,000 to the winner.
Stiff said the goal was to eventually increase the winner’s purse for the Brother Fox to $100,000.
“That is the goal and it is very achievable,” he said.
“The race is already growing in profile. This inaugural race was won by Jungle Deuce, which just goes to show – good races attract good dogs.
“Obviously it is getting harder with big races being staged every week. But, just like the race dog, the Brother Fox classic, is a prestigious race. It will only get bigger and better.”