By David Brasch
Group 3 Mandurah Cup (490m)
Best greyhounds nominated
Heats October 2. Final October 9.
$20,000 to the winner
GREG Horne and his wife Jo got their first taste of Group success when Naughty Gunn landed the Group 3 Mandurah Cup last year.
Now they are looking to add to that by pointing the daughter of Magic Sprite-Miss Barcia towards a repeat victory when the Cup series comes up in October.
\”It was such a huge thrill for Jo and I last year,\” said Greg. \”We have been training a small hobby team for quite a while and this was our first Group success.\”
Greg is 52 and has been in greyhound racing since he was 15.
A curator by trade, originally on golf courses, he has spent the past 25 years working on preparing thoroughbred racetracks and is now based at the Lark Hill training complex mid-way between Perth and Mandurah.
\”Jo and I just love all three forms of racing,\” said Greg. \”Even though we only ever have a small team, there always seems to be a handy dog there.\”
Naughty Gunn has been a prolific winner for owner Jason Gunning and the Horne kennel.
Her 17 victories have been at Cannington and Mandurah but, as well as her Mandurah Cup victory last year, she was also a finalist in the Group 2 WA Oaks behind Grace Ali.
\”She is just a fraction off being really top class,\” said Greg. \”Last year we took her to Adelaide for the Oaks and to Queensland for the Futurity. But, she can be 50/50 out of the boxes and with a pretty poor run with bad box draws, it has gone against her.\”
Greg can be very busy at Lark Hill training complex and Jo has become an integral part of the greyhound training team. \”Fortunately for me, Jo is very much enjoying the dogs,\” he said.
Greg first became involved in greyhound racing via his father\’s mate Ron Timms who raced the former WA star Sand Pebble, the litter sister to champion Sandi\’s Me Mum.
\”I got the bug from hanging around Ron,\” said Greg.
Greg and Jo are in the process of expanding their kennels at Nambeelup.
\”Jason (Gunning) has a litter of pups by Fernando Bale from Nanza Gunn, a bitch we trained for him,\” said Greg. \”They are about to be educated and look nice types. Their mother was a really fast race bitch.\”
Back in October last year, Naughty Gunn downed the classy Mottza and Goblin Monelli to win the Mandurah Cup out of box five and at the juicy odds of $16.
She added her name to Cup winners like Astrozone, Bundles Galore, Monaro Monelli, Last Day and Saving Bundles, who have won the Cup in recent years. This year Naughty Gunn will be chasing a rare feat.
\”She is still racing as well as ever,\” said Greg. \”We have to make it a long-range plan for her.\”
Pictured: Plenty of smiles after Naughty Gunn’s success in last year’s Group 3 Mandurah Cup – (from left), Alina Cattana (Greyhounds WA Mandurah Manager), Andrew Gaff (West Coast Eagles), Greg Horne (trainer) and Jayson Gunning (owner). (Photo Ali Mulder).