By DAVID BRASCH
DOYALSON North is a suburb on the NSW coast midway between Newcastle and Gosford.
It would not necessarily be known as a hub for greyhound racing.
But that would also not be entirely true.
For, in the past 20 or more years, Doyalson North resident Mark Moroney has set about forming a greyhound dynasty of his own that continues today.
That was never more on display than when Mark and partner Melissa lobbed into the Northern Rivers late in October to win the Group 2 Lismore Gold Cup with Fire Legend.
The son of Fernando Bale-Tick Away Fire is the result of six generations of breeding from the one famous family that has provided Mark with a never-ending stream of winners.
It was way back in the early 1990s Mark happened across the damline that eventually led to Group success and more recently a Lismore Cup.
\”I sent my good dog Fire Cape to Graham Bate to stand at stud back in the early 1990s,\” said Mark. \”I asked him to look out for a pup or two by him. The first bitch he mated was Tanga Park and I bought a couple of pups one of which was Fire Crisis.\”
Fire Cape had been third to Pace Galore and Queensland star Elusive Odie in the National Distance final at Wentworth Park in 1992.
Mark was keen to give him a go at stud and get some of the benefit.
Fire Crisis\’ litter included Fire Lad, the winner of the Sydney Cup, and Stoke The Fire who was second to Tentill Doll in the Adelaide Cup. It augured well for Fire Crisis as a potential broodbitch.
Fire Crisis is the fifth mother of Fire Legend. Her litter by Malawi Law saturated her own damline, bringing in Extra Progress 3×4. This is the damline of famed foundation bitch Dark Debutante, the Sandown Cup runner-up who is responsible for such greats as Velocette, Born Ali, Val Matese and Golden Currency – a line still dominant today.
That Malawi Law-Fire Crisis litter contained Sydney Fire who would keep Mark Moroney\’s dream alive.
Her granddaughter Cathella Ice won the Bankstonw City Cup for Mark and became a fine producer. Her daughter Tick Away Fire, a Wentworth Park winner, became the dam of Fire Legend and his star sister Fire On Ice a multiple Group finalist.
Mark Moroney thought so much of Fire Legend as a youngster he sent him off to Jason Thompson in Melbourne and the training genius won multiple races with him at Sandown and The Meadows and he made Group finals.
Mark brought him home in September to concentrate on country Cups … just like the Lismore Gold Cup.
With the victory came a unique celebration for Mark and partner Melissa.
While driving to Lismore for the Cup final, they decided to book a Darwin honeymoon even before knowing the result of the Cup.
They are due to be married on December 12.
\”I\’m a bit superstitious,\” said Mark. \”I\’m not one to hope to win a race like this and that pays for the honeymoon. I\’d rather make the booking and hope fate works out for the best.\”
Fire Legend led throughout to win the Cup beating Best Fit and Oski.
And, just to seal that superstition, Mark bought a frozen semen vial to champion sire Fernando Bale to use on Fire Legend\’s half sister Sweet Fire All.
\”Everything has fallen into place,\” said Mark.
Some 27 years after tapping into the Dark Debutante damline, Mark Moroney is sticking loyal but still chasing his first Group 1.
\”We\’ve won the Black Top, the Newcastle Cup, the Bankstown City Cup, Lismore Gold Cup, but never a Group 1 final,\” he said.
Moroney says putting his damline to champion Fernando Bale had lifted it to another level.
\”This is the first time I\’ve used such a great sire on the line,\” he said. \”It has just produced better dogs.\”
Mark Moroney has been in greyhound racing for decades. He spent three years working with Graham Bate in Victoria learning his trade, had a stint training in Tassie, and has been consistently churning out winners from the Fire Crisis damline in NSW ever since.
\”I\’ve had other lines in my kennels but eventually I kick them out,\” said Mark. \”I know this damline and they keep producing for me.\”
Fire Legend proved that at Lismore.