Our future is already here

\"\"By David Brasch

LUKE Adams knew from the time he was 12 that greyhound racing was for him.

Every weekend he would head out to Barry Gibbons\’ property where his father Gary worked looking after the pups.

\”I was just about to start high school,\” said Luke. \”I knew then that greyhound racing was what I wanted to do.\”

These days Luke Adams is one of the bright new training stars emerging around the country. Luke, now 26, could not believe his luck when he recently landed a Group 1 double with littermates, the Futurity with Zipping Sapporo and the Derby with Zipping Moose.

His 2021 strike rate is phenomenal.

It all started as a 12-year-old going out every weekend to the Gibbons property.

Barry was quick to encourage the youngster and between them they organised for Luke to gain a catcher\’s license just for Barry\’s dogs. Luke went racing at Lithgow as often as he could.

School was only getting in the way of a career in greyhound racing so Luke quit after year 10 and went to work with that great trainer Frank Hurst, he of the Million Dollar Chase victory with Good Odds Harada.

\”I spent two years with Frank and learned a lot,\” he said. \”I\’d never met him, but just walked up to him one day and asked if I could help out. I was 17 at the time.\”

Luke says Frank is ‘old school’ training, working his dogs hard but feeding the best there is.

\”He taught me patience with dogs,\” said Luke. \”I stayed with Frank for about 18 months.\”

He then struck up a friendship with Jason Magri a closeness that lasts today with all the Magri family.

\”Jason and I are best mates and I now train out of the family\’s property,\” said Luke.

Training differences between Frank and the Magri clan is obvious.

\”We have a 280 metre straight track and about three or four days before a race, we put the dogs on the straight and work them hard beside a motor bike,\” he said.

\”But they go on a rotary walker every day, even race day.\”

Luke is huge in praise of the acceptance of him shown by the Magri family.

\”I can\’t thank all of them enough,\” he said.

\”It really is a team effort here.\”

These days Luke has 22 dogs in training. Most of them, including the Derby and Futurity winners, are owned by Marty Hallinan.

\”Marty is the very best owner to have,\” said Luke. \”I hardly ever hear from him and he lets me do what I believe is best for the dogs.\”

At the moment those plans for the Group 1 stars of the kennel include the Oaks and Derby at Richmond, but Luke is also looking squarely at the up-coming Golden Easter Egg carnival at Wentworth Park.

\”Moose will probably go to the New Sensation,\” he said. \”It looks a nice race for him and I\’m not sure we want to take on the really hot dogs in the Easter Egg.\”

Plans for both littermates depend on their showing at Richmond.

Of Zipping Sapporo he is particularly fond.

\”She has got a bit of a mean streak in her,\” he said. \”She\’s the boss around the kennels, and she knows she\’s good.

\”It showed in the Futurity final when she came from behind to win. That\’s her.\”

Luke is aware he is part of a rising dynasty of youth among the ranks of greyhound trainers, matching strides with Karina Britton and Mark Gatt in NSW and Kayla Cottrell and Ned McDonald in Victoria.

\”The future looks bright with so many young people involved,\” he said.

Future plans include Luke eventually establishing his own kennels.

\”That is my future plan,\” he said. \”But at the moment everything is still about learning the industry.

\”I\’m always experiencing new things and learning as I go.\”

Of his Group 1 double, Luke admits he was immediately in shock.

\”My dad was more excited than me,\” he said. \”Dad has always been there supporting me in everything I do with greyhounds and life.

\”It was a proud moment for all of us.\”



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