Townsville race honours former champ Idol Eyes

\"\"Caption: A faded newspaper clipping shows trainer Tom Hill (right) with Idol Eyes after one of her two wins in the Coca-Cola 1000 at Townsville.

By Brennan Ryan

THE 643m Stayers Challenge race at this month’s Townsville Cup meeting will be renamed in honour of champion bitch Idol Eyes.

Arguably one of the greatest greyhounds to have been bred and raced in Townsville since the sport was formed in North Queensland in the 1970s, Idol Eyes won 41 races in glittering 68-start career.

Bred by Bill Muirhead, the daughter of Acclaim Star and Devlin Lass was trained by Tom Hill.

Tom completed a deal with Muirhead to swap a pup from his Avenue Idol litter for a white and black bitch later to be named Idol Eyes who was described as being ‘cranky’ and a real handful.

Hill introduced the great Idol Eyes to the Townsville Showgrounds track on January 6, 1983 and from there she won her maiden race one the way to an unprecedented 12-start winning streak. Idol Eyes ‘owned’ Townsville having broken the 380m, 498m and 643m track records.

A swag of feature race triumphs would quickly fall to the great Idol Eyes in her racing career. Her record at Townsville included the Silver Slipper (1983 & 1985), Coca-Cola 1000 (1983 & 1985), Easter Gift (1984), St. Leger (1983), Townsville Cup (1984), Castle Hill Flying (1983) and the New Year’s Gift (1983)

Having won almost every feature event on the calendar in Townsville connections then elected to send Idol Eyes south under the guidance of Brisbane trainer Gary Keep.

She posted wins at The Gabba and was also runner-up in the Carlton Cup and Galaxy finals. Venturing further south, Hill elected to enter Idol Eyes for a tilt at the 1984 Australian Cup series at Olympic Park where she won her qualifier before finishing second in the heats.

Idol Eyes was also crowned Townsville Greyhound of the Year for 1983 and again in 1984.

At stud Idol Eyes had litters to Amerigo Man, Half Nelson, Memories Gate and Pop Gun.

Beagle Boy Eyes was easily her best, although the line continues mainly through Jeanie\’s Me Mum and Avenue Princess. The former produced Tribute To Dad, Pacemaster, Captain\’s Heir and Mighty Mouse. The latter is responsible for Platinum Prince, Rue Des Grande, Jurassic\’s Image etc.

Blue Water Girl was the dam of star Townsville gallopers Super Rajan and Blue Rajan. Beagle Boy Eyes even sired Cheri\’s Image the winner of a SA Distance Championship. Jeanie\’s Jet, a daughter of Jeanie\’s Me Mum, has produced superstar bitch Jeanie\’s Queen.

The all-time great Idol Eyes will now be remembered for the legacy she has left on greyhound racing.

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