Injury blow for Townsville’s Tipsy Four

\"\"Caption: A flying Tipsy Four scorches around the Townsville track on her way to setting a new  380m record of 21.42s just before Christmas. Then early last month the talented bitch suffered a career ending injury.

MIKE HILL’S Queensland Country roundup

IT\’S been an emotional few weeks for trainer Danny Preh.

The Townsville-based conditioner experienced several highs in late December and then had a massive low early last month when his outstanding chaser Tipsy Four broke down, forcing her into retirement.

\”The vet said she had dislocated her right hind hock and had damaged everything around it,\” Preh said last month.

\”He said the hock had gone back in but tendons and ligaments had been damaged and they all needed to be pinned.

\”She\’s still at the vets recovering and doing rehab.

\”We hope to have her back here for a few weeks before she heads back to Brisbane to begin life in retirement.

Tipsy Four, better known as Betty to the Prehs, Danny and wife Teri, suffered the career-ending injury in a best-8 sprint, only two weeks after breaking the Townsville 380m track record with a flying 21.42s run.

\”How quickly things can change,\” said Preh, whose only been training for three years.

\”We had so many plans for her, including the Country Cup series.\”

The trainer admitted he was broken hearted as Tipsy Four was being  carried off the track after the injury mishap.

\”But I\’m now looking on the bright side,\” he said.

\”She\’s recovering and she can now have a great life in retirement as she prepares for motherhood.

\”I hope one day I can get one of her pups to train.

\”We\’ve had a great ride with her.

\”Like a good wine maturing with age, she was getting better and better and better.

\”It\’ll be a while before we see another one like her up here.\”

Tipsy Four (My Bro Fabio-Bonnie\’s Dream) had arrived at Preh\’s Kelso kennels in late July last year with a  record of eight wins and 36 placings from 95 starts.

Laidley Heights trainer Darren Makowiecki had sent her north for a tilt at the Group 3 Townsville Cup in late August.

Thriving under Preh\’s guidance, Tipsy Four proceeded to give her caretaker trainer a series of \’firsts\’.

She was a surprise $10 heat winner in the Group series, giving Preh his first runner in the Cup final, she was the first runner he\’s trained to break a track record and in doing so she became his first kennel representative  to win three races in a row.

\”She gave me my \’first hat-trick\’,\” he said.

\”I\’d had dogs win two races in a row before but they could never win the third, and I\’ve never had a dog get close to a track record before Betty came along.\”

When Tipsy Four heads home, Preh will be left with empty kennels.

\”I\’m going to take a short break,\” he said.

\”I\’ve been approached by several trainers to take some dogs and I will probably do that in a month or so.\”

Preh has a couple of pups with Matt Evans but said they were probably 12 months off racing.

He might be losing his kennel star, but Betty has given him some wonderful memories he won\’t forget.

Tipsy Four raced 29 times for Preh, recording 10 wins, including her track record-breaking run and victory in the City Council Mayors Trophy (498m). She also chalked up five seconds and seven thirds.

But it\’s the buzz of Cup night that will remain strong in Preh\’s memory as the highlight of his time with the little black sprinter.


LEADING Central Queensland trainer Darren Taylor has just completed one of his most successful years with the collar and lead.

For the second successive year, the Bouldercombe-based conditioner rugged up 100 winners.

Taylor, whose home track is Rockhampton, landed his century of wins when the heavily supported Cosmic Colin won the Christmas Gift (407m) in late December.

Luck played its part in the success as Cosmic Colin was originally second reserve in the feature but gained a run from box two after two runners were scratched.

It was an important win for Team Taylor as Rockhampton\’s final meeting of the year was washed out due to heavy rain and \’the state of the track\’.

Taylor topped the 2020 trainers premiership at Rockhampton with 84 victories. He also had 10 wins at Albion Park during the year and victories at Bundaberg (five) and Ipswich (one).

\”It was our best results every at Albion Park,\” the trainer said.

\”We had nine metropolitan (Thursday night) wins and we\’re thrilled with what we\’ve done during the year.\”

He said Team Taylor had changed its mindset from a hobby operation to taking a more professional, full-time approach.

\”We\’ve had some very good results and our feature wins are up,\” Taylor said.

The success followed the kennel\’s 104 victories in 2019 and Taylor is determined to build on his achievements during 2021.

He finished 2020 with 100 wins, 77 seconds, 60 thirds and prizemoney in excess of $235,500.

\”Not bad for a country trainer,\” he said.

And to add to the success, Team Taylor had a 22 per cent winning strike rate and a 52 per cent place rate.

Other leading Queensland country trainers included Rhonda Essery (Townsville) 99 wins, Brad Belford (Townsville) 97, Pauline Byers (Drayton) 92 and Dallas Beckett (Rockhampton) 84.


GUMLU-based trainer Harold Hovi added another trophy to his growing collection when Gold Assassin impressively won the $2890 Anniversary Cup (498m) at Townsville in late December.

The exceptionally well-bred black dog (Dyna Double One-Rickshaw Rosie) held on strongly to beat the Michael Fusco-prepared Septimo by half a length with Andrew Wooler\’s Segredo just over two lengths away third.

The victory lifted Gold Assassin\’s record to six wins and 14 placings from 27 starts.

Hovi, nicknamed the Magic Man, was elated with the victory.

\”To be quite honest, I wasn\’t confident with Gold Assassin drawing box five in the race,\” he said.

\”It certainly gave me a big shock in the way he showed speed to drive through and rail underneath Hot Wild Roses. I was concerned she would be our danger.

\”Our bloke was brilliant.\”


THE Ken Booty-trained sprinter Dyna Smokey pushed his career tally to 16 wins with victory in the $3675 Uncle Rusty\’s Photos Christmas Cup (460m) at Bundaberg in late December.

The well-travelled light brindle dog (KC And All-Darya Bale) just held on to beat the unlucky My Bro Beach (Darren Taylor) by half-a-length, with the Peter O\’Reilly favourite Flying Jet another half-length away third.


RECORDS have tumbled and others were under threat at Queensland provincial tracks.

Brad Belford\’s highly talented young sprinter Urana Shelby sliced .01s off Rocket\’s Magic\’s Townsville 380m track record of 21.53s, set in September 2016.

Urana Shelby, one of only a few chasers racing by triple Group winner Dalgety, clocked a scintillating  21.52s in early December at only her second run in North Queensland.

Last month  the blue bitch had the amazing record of six wins from six starts at Townsville after leaving Victoria with just one win and a minor placing from six starts – all at Shepparton.

However, the 380m record didn\’t last long.

A week later, the Danny Preh-trained Tipsy Four chopped a full second off the time, clocking a scorching 21.42s in winning a best-eight sprint.

Meanwhile, outstanding Rockhampton sprinter Craig\’s Regret equalled Shakey Diesel\’s 460m record of 25.94s at Bundaberg in late December.

The Dallas Beckett-prepared chaser proved too strong for his kennelmate Remember Col, winning by four-and-a-quarter lengths.



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