George breaks through for city win



RIVAL trainers at Albion Park on August 3 should have felt privileged to be in the presence of the great ‘Tommy Smith’.

Well, not quite, but when veteran dog man George Evans won his first Albion Park race that night with Cost A Shilling, he admits to feeling like the legend Tommy Smith himself.

Beaudesert-based George will turn 80 late in October.

He\’s been training greyhounds since he was 30 and had to wait until 2020 to land that elusive city winner.

And, George is in the midst of a life battle with prostate cancer. He\’s undergoing chemo treatment for the cancer and has trouble handling his dogs on race night.

But, none of this could diminish the thrill George felt when Coast A Shilling (Dyna Villa-Viridian) won that maiden heat over 520m.

The Albion Park victory is just one part of the success story for George Evans.

\”I was a commercial traveller in the catering business for 39 years, based in Bundaberg,\” said George. \”I used to spend from Monday to Friday travelling around Queensland. There are not too many places I have not been to and that includes the islands off the coast.\”

He took up training as a 30-year-old and always had four dogs in work in Bundaberg.

\”We had plenty of success in Bundaberg and in 1987 I won the Rockhampton trainer\’s premiership with a kennel of just four dogs,\” he said.

Upon retirement, George and his wife Thelma moved to Beaudesert.

\”We bought the home in Beaudesert where Thelma grew up,\” he said. \”It had been in the family all those years. When Thelma\’s parents died, we bought the house from the family.\”

And George tossed himself into life on the Ipswich club committee.

\”I was on the club committee at first, then became vice-president and when Rob Essex resigned, I became president of the club for four years,\” he said.

\”It was a very rewarding time for me and I have a lot of respect for those people running clubs and the industry. I very much enjoyed my time as president.\”

With cancer being a worry to George\’s health for the past seven and a half years, he has cut his team to just one.

\”I have Cost A Quid as a retiree here, and only Cost A Shilling in training,\” he said.

\”I bought him as a pup from Col Curtis. Col has become my minder. Whenever I have the dog in, Col will arrange to have someone meet me at the track and handle Cost A Shilling.

\”I struggle to walk him out onto the track for a race,\” he said.

While George is under no illusions that his initial Albion Park winner Cost A Shilling is far from being champion class, he says he will more than pay his way and be a handy galloper for him.

\”I love my greyhounds,\” said George.

And if for one night at Albion Park back early in August he felt ‘just like I was Tommy Smith’, then that certainly has made those 50 years in the industry well worthwhile.

Pictured: Veteran Queensland dog man George Evans with Cost A Shilling after a debut win at Albion Park (Photo: Box 1 Photography)



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