Caption: High profile greyhound media identity Mark ‘Duke’ Duclos (front, far right) can’t hide his joy after We Don’t Share snared the TAB Million Dollar Chase Maiden Final at Wentworth Park. Far left are Jodie and Andy Lord. Paul Mills handled the dog and joining the presentations are NRL players Mitchell Moses and Reagan Campbell-Gillard (back right). Photo: Lachlan Naidu
By Chase Editor Pat McLeod
Mark Duclos has been surrounded by greyhound greatness almost all his life – so close he could literally touch it.
But for the man widely regarded as the media face of greyhound racing in Australia, close enough isn’t good enough.
“I have owned a lot of dogs,” says the 61-year-old. “And I have had some good dogs, some handy dogs, but never a really good dog.
“So, about six months ago I was talking to a very good friend of mine, Andy Lord. I said: ‘Before I die I just want to experience what it is like to have a good dog, one that I would term a really good dog’.
“Andy just looked at me and said: ‘We will fix that and we will race one together’.”
In early May, by all indications, Lord proved he is good to his word when We Don’t Share (Good Odds Harada x Book Of Luck) surged to the line to win The TAB Million Dollar Chase Maiden Final.
Jodie Lord’s She’s a Pearl’s win in the Million Dollar Chase, was the unbelievable climax to that night’s massive night of racing at Wentworth Park, however for Duclos, that same kennel’s earlier success couldn’t be topped.
Andy Lord’s determination to make good the promise to his great mate began when he chose We Don’t Share for Duclos from a group of pups he had sent for breaking in.
“He kept telling me about this black dog that he had selected for me. How well it had broken in. How it was a flying machine from day dot,” recalls Duclos.
“Then Andy started educating him. He was registering very good times and we were going to set him up for the Magic Maiden (Wentworth Park), but we lost some time with the floods and other things.
“So, we progressed to the Million Dollar Chase Maiden heats and he got into a little bit of trouble (running second to Our Boy Duke), but you have to remember he is a baby and had never been with more than one other dog on the track.
“Then we came to the final … well that was just a thrill. Probably my most enjoyable night as an owner.”
Duclos and Lord both know the unpredictability of greyhound racing, but for now there is only blue sky in We Don’t Share’s future.
“Andy has a big wrap on the dog and says he will be the best dog I will own,” says Duclos.
“I am still trying not to get ahead of myself, but I am very excited. For me what I cherish about this situation is just how unique and special the friendships are in greyhound racing.
“The people in this industry are truly amazing and they don’t come any better than Andy and Jodie Lord. They are very good and very successful trainers who have just won a million dollar race.
“But, knowing Andy how I do, I believe he got as much satisfaction from the maiden win that night as he did when She’s a Pearl saluted.”
For now the plan is to guide We Don’t Share through the grades and at the back end of the year he will be targeted for races such as the Group One Vic Peters Classic.
We Don’t Share’s maiden win on such a gala night also has another compelling story line – boosting the stud fortunes of sire, Good Odds Harada.
Respected industry veteran Frank Hurst guided Good Odds Harada to victory in the Million Dollar Chase in 2019. He now believes the dog’s stud future will gain plenty of momentum.
At the time of publication Good Odds Harada has only had 10 pups hit he track, however as Hurst says ‘One win can make a stud dogs career’.
“It is very important to have a win like that early in a stud dog’s career,” he said. “That win was as good as winning a race for us. We cheered him like we owned him.
“I will be hoping that we get some momentum on the back of that win. I have no doubt about the quality of this stud dog. Many that have bred from him so far have bred a second letter from him.
“He is a big dog with the best temperament in the world. Now he’s getting big pups who have a fantastic temperament. They are easy to break in and do everything right.
“We are about to see another side of Harada, other than the one that we saw at Wentworth Park a couple of years ago when he won the Million Dollar Chase.”
Hurst also campaigned the unplaced Good Odds Cash in the recent MDC final.