Night of celebrations for Park family at Ipswich


Caption: Winners are grinners … just ask the Park family after sprinter Ellie Rhee Court’s victory at Ipswich last Saturday night. With winning trainer Cynthia Suttle (far left) are (front row) Georgia Park, owner Ian Park and Hamish Park. Back row (from left): Robert Park, Mandy Park, Alice McMillan, Duane McMillan, Jake McMillan, Emily Shanks, Ellie Park and Nicole Park. (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos).

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Ipswich Greyhound Club’s Weekly Wrap with MIKE HILL

A FAMILY get-together turned into a full-scale celebration when promising sprinter Ellie Rhee Court produced a courageous all-the-way victory in a 4th/5th Grade (431m) at Ipswich last Saturday night.

Members of the Park and McMillan families had come together trackside for ‘a belated Christmas gathering’, said Ian Park, owner of Ellie Rhee Court.

Park, a retired police officer who lives at Greenmount, near Toowoomba, said a neck issue had prevented him from driving over Christmas.

So, family members living in the Ipswich and Logan areas decided to meet up at the Ipswich club and watch the Cynthia Suttle-trained Ellie Rhee Court go around.

“It turned out to be a great night, a great family experience,” Park said.

And for two of the youngest members of the extended family – Hamish and Georgia Park – there was a bonus.

“They touched a greyhound for the first time,” said Ian. “To see the joy and excitement on their faces, it was heartening for me.”

Park said he first became involved in greyhound ownership about 10 years ago through fellow police officer Geoff Nicholas, now retired, while they were stationed in Mackay.

“There were four of us in the first dog, Parish of Monico, but two members later pulled out and Geoff and I continued on as Panic Racing,” he said.

“Through the sport we have met some great people and made some great friendships.

“I’ve become close friends with Terry Medcalf, who in turn found Cynthia for us … and another great friendship is being established.”

On Saturday night with just over a length separating the first five placegetters, Ellie Rhee Court, a $4 chance, bravely held off Spring Cedar (Pauline Byers) by half a length with Top Shelf Toby (Daniel Bloomfield) a close third.

“She (Ellie Rhee Court) has above average ability and is going really well at the moment,” said Suttle, who’s held a trainer’s licence for more than five decades.

“I’ve had a licence since I was 18 … that’s a long time.”

Based at Redland Bay, Suttle said: “I know the win meant a lot to connections and it was great that so many members of the family were there.”

The trainer said Ellie Rhee Court had been named after Park’s wife Ellie and their two daughters.

Suttle has only had the black sprinter (Sennachie-Hot Pyjamas) since late September after previous trainer and breeder Terry Medcalf asked if she could take over the preparation.

“I don’t usually train for other people,” she said.

However, she agreed to take the sprinter and the partnership is paying dividends.

Ellie Rhee Court has raced 16 times for her new trainer for six wins – all over the 431m at Ipswich – and five placings, while the sprinter’s overall record stands at 26: 7-3-6 ($18,600).

Suttle, who only has four dogs in work, said Ellie Rhee Court was running out of races over the shorter journey at Ipswich and she was looking at stepping her up in distance in coming weeks.

“I have nominated her in a 520m 5th Grade at Albion Park on Monday,” the trainer said.

“She’s a handy little girl and I think she will be able to handle the rise in distance.”

Suttle admitted there were excuses for Ellie Rhee Court’s failure at her only start over 520m at Albion Park in early November.

“She was thrown in the deep end and she got a bit lost,” she said.

The trainer, who used to breed her own litters before her husband passed away two years ago, said she was looking forward to picking up another two youngster from the Park-Nicholas ‘Panic Racing’ syndicate.

The brother-sister littermates are by Beast Unleashed from Rattlesnake Cafe, a bitch previously raced by the Panic group.

The youngsters are currently in pre-training with Ian and Kerry Hoggan, who also put the early polish on Ellie Rhee Court.

Suttle, who loves her dogs, said ‘I have pets that go racing’.

“They keep me fit and give me a reason to get up in the morning,” she said.

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THE long wait is almost over for owners and trainers who have set their youngsters for the $112,500 Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden (520m) at Ipswich.

With just over a week until the class of ’24 hit the track, many for the first time, anticipation is running high around the club.

One official said: “We won’t know the calibre of this year’s series until the fields for the heats are released next week.”

But like most years, the Vince Curry is certain to uncover a potential ‘star or two’.

The series kicks off with heats next week (Saturday, January 20) followed by semi-finals a week later with the $75,000-to-the-winner final on Saturday, February 3.


TALENTED sprinter Arbela looks one of the better bets at Ipswich on Saturday night.

The exceptionally well-bred black bitch (Go Wild Teddy-Eulogia) seems to have a definite liking for the 431m trip.

Trained at Buccan, near Beenleigh, by Jeff Crawford, Arbela has won (four) or been runner-up in seven of her eight runs over the distance, her most recent win coming last weekend.

She has a 24.97s PB, clocked in early December while jumping from box 6, the same draw she has in Saturday night’s 5th Grade (431m) event.

The black sprinter has an explosive start. She demonstrated that last week with a slick 13.30s first split and a repeat should see her adding to her win record.

The biggest danger appears to be the Darren Johnstone-trained Sirius Suzie (box 1).

Like Arbela, Sirius Suzie is racing in top form with three wins and three seconds from her past six outings over 431m.

However, she has yet to win from the inside box after drawing it eight times.

Others with chances include the Stephen Neary-prepared Sorrento Breeze (box 2) – she has a liking for the rails – and Tiny Encounter from the Ray Burman kennels.

Meanwhile, seasoned chaser Fast Milkman will be chasing his first Ipswich win in an interesting 4th/5th Grade (630m).

Placed at his past two outings at the track over 520m, the versatile Tim Britton-trained stayer will appreciate the extra journey.

He was narrowly beaten last Saturday by I’m Peakin’ after powering home late.

Others with chances include Jewel Bee (Ray Burman), Clear To Pass (Marion Goodwin), Ringbark Razor (Leanne Hall) and Letho Land (Matt Bourke).

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PARK Ridge South trainer Jemma Daley had a 100 per cent return when she rugged up a trio of runners at Ipswich on Tuesday.

Daley was successful with first-starter Hara’s Larry (Feral Franky-Hara’s Bonnie), a $3.30 chance in the opening maiden event over 431m, unbeaten littermate Hara’s Olivia ($2 fav) made it two from two in the novice (431m) and Digital Sea ($5.50) completed the treble by winning a 5th Grade (431m).


OWNERS and trainers are advised that the Ipswich club has programmed an extra trialling session for next Thursday (January 18).

Trials will begin at the conclusion of that day’s meeting, starting from 4.45pm.

Bookings open from 9am on Monday.


THE final acceptances for this year’s series of Auction races close on Saturday (January 13).

A club spokesperson said all Auction forms had to be completed and final acceptance payments made by the cut-off date.



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