Garth back in sport he loves

\"\"Caption: Garth Roese and his son Aidan with Zulu Thunder, the trainer’s first winner when he returned to greyhound racing.

By GARY CLARK

DESPITE his love of dogs, family became Garth Roese’s major focus 13 years ago and resulted in him taking a long break away from greyhound racing.

But overdue knee surgery a few years ago proved to be the catalyst in getting the Central Coast trainer finally back in the sport he loves.

“I was loving the dogs and my career in the sport, but starting a family came first so everything else went on hold,” recalls Garth.

Since making that decision, his wife Vivian, a primary school teacher at Gosford, and their three children Aidan (12), Elina (10) and Mahlia (4) have helped Garth through some difficult times.

A chef by trade, Garth began his working life at McDonald as a 16-year-old.

“I left home and started at Macca’s where I was recommended a couple who had a spare room for rent,” said Garth.

“It became unbearable at times with continued arguments between the couple so I went out at night to the TAB at The Entrance and enjoyed watching the greyhound races. That is how I became interested in the sport which eventually led me into my first dog.

“I wanted to become a chef in the Navy and see the world but my dream failed to eventuate.”

Garth started his apprenticeship as a chef in his early 20’s and has been able to work at a number of restaurants on the NSW Central Coast.

He worked at the Ettalong Bowling Club then took over as head chef at the Margarita and Daze restaurant.

After working with the now defunct NCA between 2001-2004 and also stepping into the racing manager’s job at Wyong, Garth decided to move to Taree in 2004 to get a fresh start.

It was there he took up a position running poker tournaments and it was that job that led him to meet Vivian.

“I was able to help a friend with his dogs there and that kept up my interest in the sport which also gave me a job as grader at the local meeting,” he said.

He had his first winner with a veteran chaser named Tiny Gem in 2002.

“I was given her to start my training career and prepared her for a Golden Oldies at Canberra and she bolted in,” he said.

While on the sideline of greyhound racing, Garth’s football past finally caught up with him. He had suffered ongoing problems with a knee injury he had sustained as a 17-year-old playing rugby league and finally needed surgery in 2017.

Garth had an external fixator placed on his knee for two years.

“It was a tough and painful period in my life but my family made it a lot easier,” he said.

Garth’s rehabilitation included a lot of walking and there was no better medication than getting back into greyhound racing.

He bought a dog from Queensland called Zulu Thunder (Aston Dee Bee x Notso Sweet) and he won at Maitland at his first run for Garth in November last year. Zulu Thunder then went on to win at Taree and Gosford in February. He also led and was run down late for two Wentworth Parrk placings.

“I thought. if I’m going to give training another chance then I need to invest, so I purchased three pups from Victoria for $30,000,” said Garth.

With these pups now 15 months old, Garth was prepared to dedicate his time to them and  placed  Zulu Thunder on the market. He was able to sell him in March to a NSW buyer.

Garth’s three new additions to the Roese backyard were Salty Stare (Fernando Bale x Pietra Allen), Striking Stare (Fernando Bale x Zulu Power) and Explosive Stare (Orson Bale x Miss Fernando).

Striking Stare has Group-winning bloodlines with his grandmother being Paua To Burn.

“I registered the ‘Stare’ prefix for my dogs which relates back to my days in Taree,” he said.

When Garth was the grader at Taree he used to get ‘the stares’ when he walked on to the track from trainers who thought they were being hard done by.

“I’m really excited about Explosive Stare who is flying on the track and is probably around six weeks away from his debut,” said Garth.

Garth has been around some of the best trainers having helped Jason McKay and John Heard and he is also a long-time mate of  Darryl Thomas.

“I would go to the trials with them, help out around the kennels, it pays off down the track,” he said.

Garth these days is the judge at Gosford where he has been for 12 months, and his oldest son  Aidan is following in his footsteps.

“He loves the dogs. He gets involved and comes to the track,” said Garth.

Garth is looking at a knee replacement some time down the track, but in the meantime he has three pups that could put a spring in his step.

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