By MIKE HILL
TWO of the stars of Townsville racing have been forced into retirement.
Murphy Rumble, the club\’s Greyhound of the Year in 2019, and last year\’s winner Segredo both suffered serious injuries in the same week in late February.
The Brad Belford-trained, Mark Partland-owned Murphy Rumble is recovering from a broken right hind hock, while Andrew Wooler\’s Segredo sustained tendon damage to the hock area.
Partland said he was hoping to pick Murphy Rumble (Collision-Velvet Rumble) up from the vets at Ayr in a few weeks.
\”He\’s rehabilitating after a successful operation,\” he said.
\”We\’re in the process of registering him for stud duties.
\”We hope he can give us a few litters from some of our bitches.\”
Partland said Murphy Rumble had been a very smart race dog.
\”He knew how to find the rails and he was quick early,\” the proud owner said.
Murphy Rumble, one of the best sprinters to arrive in the north, had an amazing 2019 season, although he only raced for six months.
He arrived at Brad Belford\’s Gumlow kennels in March and a toe injury in July had him sidelined for another three months.
Despite this \’Murphy\’ dominated the year with 14 wins and three seconds from just 22 starts and along the way he claimed the Young Guns (380m), North Queensland Cup (498m) and the City Council Mayors Trophy and was runner-up to kennelmate Soft Sand in the Grand Prix (498m).
The versatile black sprinter won the northern regional qualifier for the Country Cup in early 2020 but had no luck in the Albion Park final before joining top Sydney trainer Mark Gatt\’s kennels for a three-month mission.
\”The dog found the Wenty 520m trip just a bit too far,\” said Partland.
Murphy Rumble was placed three from three at Wentworth Park and was also in the money at Bulli over 400m and 472m.
Partland said he was very thankful to leading owner-breeder-trainer Steve Kavanagh.
\”We bought both Murphy Rumble and his litter brother Rumble Master from Steve,\” he said.
\”We\’ve been very lucky with both dogs.\”
He said it was hard to separate the two but he favoured Murphy slightly.
\”We got him first and he\’s a bit quirky.\”
Murphy Rumble finished a wonderful career on the track with 24 wins and 20 minor placings from 66 starts and prizemoney totalling $58,245.
Meanwhile, Wooler said Segredo (Bella Infrared-Dokmai) had been a very sound dog before the injury.
\”He just wanted to run all the time,\” the trainer said.
In fact, he raced 68 times last year and won the GOTY title on the back of 11 wins and 24 placings.
Wooler also won the Owner of the Year title.
Segredo showed his versatility by winning over the three distances at Townsville – 380m, 498m and 643m.
However, Wooler said the red fawn dog had pulled up sore after his last race and was limping the next morning.
\”X-rays revealed he had tendon damage,\” he said.
\”He\’s almost four and we decided retirement was the best thing for him.
\”He\’s been a very good dog for us.
\”He didn\’t have a lot of early pace but he was a good railer.
\”Give him an inch and he\’d get through.
\”He never gave up in his races. He\’d try all the time.\”
Wooler said Segredo was a massive attention seeker.
\”All he wants is attention – pats and cuddles all the time,\” he said.
\”At the moment he is staying with us but later he may go on the adoption program.
THEY say patience is the name of the game.
Well, leading NSW trainer Mark Gatt admits it has played a huge part in Stanley Road\’s arrival as one of the nation\’s leading stayers.
The black chaser staged a brilliant come-from-behind victory in last month\’s $142,750 Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers (715m) at The Meadows – his second Group success and fourth Group appearance in three months.
The triumph was just reward for Gatt, who has displayed plenty of patience and perseverance with the Allen Deed-Piper Road dog.
Comprehensively beaten at his first three appearances in early 2020, Gatt elected to turn Stanley Road out for a five-month spell while he \’re-trained\’ the talented yet enigmatic chaser.
The plan worked to perfection.
Stanley Road returned to track last August a different dog – in fact, he\’s now one of the best stayers going around.
He\’s been unplaced only three times in his past 23 runs with a record of 11 wins, nine placings and more than $215,000 in prizemoney to his credit.
Meanwhile, astute Townsville conditioner Michael Hickmott is hoping his patience will be rewarded with Stanley Road\’s litter brother Moving Target.
The black sprinter hasn\’t raced since mid-June after undergoing a radical operation to create a new tendon in the front offside leg.
\”The old tendon had just rotted away,\” said Hickmott.
The last few months have been a trying time for the Bluewater-based trainer.
Moving Target had shown enormous potential with seven wins, including a record equalling run over the Townsville 380m, and four placings from just 12 starts before the extent of his injury was discovered.
\”To do what he has done so far on three legs is amazing,\” the trainer said.
\”It just shows you the quality of the dog.
\”The vet took a tendon from the side of the leg and put it in the middle, replacing the rotten one.
\”He couldn\’t even rejoin the tendon – there was just nothing there.
\”The injury started showing up when Moving Target began racing.\”
And it took Hickmott several visits to vets to discover the real problem.
\”The dog was in traction for four-and-a-half months after the operation,\” he said.
\”I\’ve followed the vet\’s rehabilitation program to the letter.
\”He\’s back running around but I still have to test him on the track.\”
The trainer has his fingers crossed that Moving Target can return to racing with his old zip but if he doesn\’t come up Hickmott says he will breed from him.
\”We\’ve already had him registered as a stud dog,\” he said.
\”He\’s the perfect dog … the perfect race dog.
\”He raced without a tendon in one leg … he\’s a freak.
\”He\’s a picture to look at and he\’s well bred.
\”Moving Target comes from a very good damline and the other three members of his litter – Stanley Road, Jet A One and Tandem At Pace – are all city winners.”