By Paul Dolan
At the recent Queensland greyhound awards night, plenty of praise was understandably heaped on Graham and Leanne Hall for their efforts in having two finalists.
It’s now well known that Spotted Elk took the award, with her litter sister Extra Malt being a runner-up along with the Darren Russell trained Maggie Moo Moo. The Hall trained pair are by Paw Licking out of It Gets Better.
The question was asked by plenty of people: Has a trainer had two finalists in a Queensland greyhound of the year previously?
The answer is – yes. Three times, in fact. In 1992 Elusive Odie took the award, with Tickety Boo a runner up. Tony Zammit trained the pair.
In 1995, Flying Amy was the winner with Boronia Blossom a runner up. Ron Ball was the trainer.
In 2017 Fast Times was the winner for Tony Brett, who also trained runner up Jury.
None of those greyhounds were littermates. In 2006 two litter sisters were finalists, namely Quidame and Lucy’s Light. But they had different trainers. Tony Brett trained Quidame and Elaine Williamson put the polish on Lucy’s Light.
Quidame and Lucy’s Light were by Flying Penske out of Sheza Swifty, but were not the same colour. Quidame was black while Lucy’s Light was black and white.
Someone at the function suggested that Mike O’Byrne, given his dominance in the training ranks at the Gabba during the 1980s, would have had two finalists in the one year at some stage. And the same could be said for John Reimer. I agree that’s a reasonable conclusion to draw, but it didn’t happen.
Here is the O’Byrne record. He won the GOTY twice, Amanda Flash in 1985 and Musical Maestro in 1989. He did not have another finalist in those years. He had finalists (but not winners) Hopeful Doll in 1986 and 1987 and Shy Nimbus in 1988.
Reimer had Miss Perlita as a finalist in 1979. She won the award in 1980. Winged Runner was a finalist in 1999 and took the title in 2000. Reimer had finalists Jason’s Trace in 1981 and Half Stout in 1982.
Getting back to 2021, Spotted Elk and Extra Malt are both white and black in colour. They are not identical, but not far off it.
Assuming the records I have examined are correct, we can safely say that Graham and Leanne are the only people to have had two Queensland GOTY finalists who were littermates in the one year.
Wait. There’s more! There is one case of two people who are related to each other having GOTY finalists in the same year. You’ve probably guessed it already. In 2019 Dam Slippery won the title, trained by Brett Hazelgrove. A runner up was Wise Misty, trained by Brett’s brother Craig. Dam Slippery and Wise Misty are not littermates.
You’ve gotta love a wee bit of history!