Ted Reflects On Osti Origin

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By DAVID BRASCH 

HE\’S 93 years old, lives on his own not far from the NSW country town of Cootamundra and has a lifetime of greyhound racing history few can boast. 

Ted Doss is the man behind establishing the famed Osti damline, one that has stood the test of time since he paid four pounds back in 1962 for a pup who he would name Silky Echo. 

Not that Ted keeps any interest in racing these days. 

\”I\’ve never been a punter, so just watching races without having my own dogs racing was never going to keep me interested,\” he told Chase Newspaper. 

Arthritis keeps Ted laid low these days. 

He finds it difficult to get helpers to even cut his lawn. He hasn\’t been happy at all since they took my driver\’s licence off me. 

\”A couple of women come out and check on me every week,\” he says. 

A recent stint in Wagga hospital when I thought I was gone was merely a hiccup along the way. 

But there is no way Ted Doss is going to complain. He\’s lived a wonderful life, he says, and even though his memory is fading about specifics, he can still bask in the glory that he has been one of the greatest breeders of greyhounds this country has seen. 

\”My son Barry comes over from Orange at least once a month to see me, and his school mate Ashley Dwyer has stayed in touch all the time,\” said Ted. 

That four-pound purchase, Silky Echo, became something else. 

“I had raced a dog called Oshkosh, who was out of a bitch called Bright Babs,” said Ted. “He was a pretty smart country dog, but he only ever raced in the country. My brother-in-law owned the dog.” 

As luck would have it, Bright Babs’ owner Jack Bentley happened up from Victoria with a car full of dogs in 1962 and Ted decided he would buy a pup from a litter Jack had by The Warrigal-Bright Babs. 

The Warrigal had at one time won 12 straight while racing around the Young area. 

“I can remember going over to see the pups and they were in a chook pen, with dogs of all ages,” said Ted. 

He paid four pound ($8) for the red fawn and white bitch. “Jack wanted five pound ($10) but I told him four pound was all I could afford,” said Ted. “When I handed him a five pound note he complained, but I said I’d borrowed the money from a mate and needed to give him back the other pound.” 

Ted Doss took the pup home and called her Silky Echo. 

“She won 12 races, but could not run further than 400 metres, in fact nine of those wins were over 298 metres.” 

Who would have thought that bitch would produce some of the best stayers this land has seen, and within one and two generations. 

When Silky Echo retired, Ted put her to Smart Conjuror, who was trained in Junee by Jack Roedecker. 

Smart Conjuror won the 1962 Maiden Thousand in Hobart. 

The Smart Conjuror-Silky Echo litter produced quality bitches like Little Gorgeous, Classy Echo and June Affair. 

“Little Gorgeous and Classy Echo could really run,” said Ted. “They made top grade and Little Gorgeous was one of the best of her time, winning in town, as did Classy Echo.” 

It was just the boost the damline needed. 

When Little Gorgeous went to stud, Ted put her to the champion of the time Benjamin John. Among the litter were the fabulous stayers Fantasy Lady and Osti Too. 

“They were the best stayers of their time,” said Ted. “Fantasy Lady was probably the better. She was a great bitch at Wentworth Park, while Osti Too was a wide runner and best at Harold Park.” 

Today, Ted regrets that Fantasy Lady did not produce as he expected. 

He has no such regrets with Osti Too. 

Fifty-plus years later, the Osti damline is still dominant. 

Ted spent 40 years breeding and rearing greyhounds on a 20-acre property at Wallendbeen in NSW. He has since moved to his current home on eight acres not far away. 

He says he has no complaints about life. 

\”I should have made a lot more money out of dogs,\” he says. \”But I can\’t complain.\” 

While he gets only occasional visitors these days, his life cheered up when Alfie Hayes came from Matraville to visit a few months ago. 

\”Alfie had two of the best stayers in the land at one time,\” said Ted. \”Travel Rev was his champion. 

\”He called in to see me and it was great to catch up with him.\” 

He calls AFL and greyhound legend Tony Lockett a close friend. 

\”Tony would often call in and stay overnight with me,\” said Ted. 

He is particularly proud of the fact Osti Too has been inducted into the NSW Greyhound Hall of Fame. 

But he still says Travel Rev is the best stayer he has ever seen, better even than the immortal Zoom Top. 

\”I raced Zoom Top one night with Classy Echo and she was old and nearly finished racing,\” said Ted. \”Zoom Top beat my bitch a half length.\” 

He has always been definite about breeding greyhounds and says a broodbitch had to be able to run before he would use her at stud. But adds that rearing is everything. 

\”Fifty percent of the secret to success is in the feeding and rearing of pups,” said Ted. “The secret is in the running. Pups should run from the time they come out of the whelping box. 

“Believe me, pups cannot do enough galloping,” he said. 

Ted Doss got his first greyhound when he was 14. 

It is difficult today to find a greyhound in Australia without at least some Osti blood running through its veins. The success of Brett Lee and his champion sons Where\’s Pedro and Hallucinate, as well as Crash in Ireland, will keep that going for years to come. 

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