Sweet taste of that first victory

\"\"Caption: Tim and Hannah Prado are all smiles after their winning debut in greyhound racing courtesy of Tupelo Tommy, at Ipswich recently. (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos) 

By David Brasch

TIM Prado had to wait just one day for a 30th birthday present he still can\’t believe, and his wife Hannah was on the verge of tears when it arrived.

Tim and Hannah stood amazed when their giveaway greyhound Tupelo Tommy (Collision-Brook Lee), their first ever attempt at training greyhounds, gave them their first winner in a 431m maiden at Ipswich early in March.

Yes, it was unexpected for the Wavell Heights couple, public servants both, and came at Tupelo Tommy\’s sixth race start.

Tim was always going to be tempted into racing, growing up in Hendra the hub of the thoroughbred world in Brisbane.

\”I went to school in Hendra and most of my mates had parents who were horse trainers or jockeys,\” said Tim.

It was by Tim\’s mid 20s that he and Hannah decided they wanted a pet. They picked a greyhound and fell in love.

\”With a greyhound as a pet, I started watching the dogs on TV and instantly found these animals just incredible,\” he said. \”Better than the horses.\”

So, Tim started going to Albion Park each week to get involved, got himself a handler\’s license early in 2020 and became involved.

\”I loved it and would catch for some of the best trainers around, and anyone else,\” he said.

His moment of glory came last year when asked to catch Who Told Stevie in the final of the G1 Brisbane Cup – the ill-fated dog finishing behind Black Opium.

Tim and Hannah decided they wanted to get their own dog.

So, in stepped Col ‘Hollywood’ Hamilton.

\”Col was fantastic,\” said Tim. \”He\’s been the biggest help in getting me started. But Brett Hazelgrove and Robbie Wall have been there all along the way as well.\”

Tim told Col he wanted to get his own dog and ‘have a bit of fun’.

Col put him into contact with Tony Apap, who simply gave Tupelo Tommy to Tim.

That was September 2020. \”Col Hamilton was so great he even came for the drive to Tony\’s place at Gatton the day I went to pick Tommy up,\” said Tim.

\”Tony had educated Tommy and I then had to bring him on to the races.

\”But it has been a learning curve all the way. He\’s had quite a few problems like a track leg, sand toe, urinary tract infection and sand burn so I\’ve been tossed into the learning curve instantly.\”

The hands-on of training has only whetted Tim and Hannah\’s appetite for more.

Tim and four of his lifelong mates, Aaron, Mark, Liam and Paul, have since bought a Zambora Brockie-Lanis Morris dog pup, now 13 months and ready for education in May.

The mother won 10 races but her greatest claim to fame is that she is a litter sister to My Redeemer and half-sister to Up Hill Jill.

Of he and Hannah\’s first win, Tim could not believe their luck.

\”He is slow early so he needed to have luck on his side and that\’s what happened,\” he said.

While Tommy now holds pride of place at the Prado Wavell Heights home, he has to share the kennels with two retirees, Amy and Gus.

\”I still take Amy out to Lawnton with Tommy and she works herself up the straight track there,\” said Tim.

While Tim admits Tupelo Tommy is his ‘learning dog’, he is also the first winner he has owned and trained. That Ipswich Maiden victory came as a surprise, but a 30th birthday present he and Hannah will never forget.

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