Tungsten the toast of a racing ‘partnership’

Caption: Jedda Cutlack and Tungsten Miss after success in the 2021 G2 Bogie Leigh Futurity at Albion Park (Photo: Box 1 Photography)

By ALEX NOLAN

WHEN owner Julian Dash approached trainer Tom Tzouvelis at a 40th birthday party 12 years ago, neither knew a long friendship forged through greyhound racing had just commenced.

Memories of that night became as vivid as ever, when the Jedda Cutlack trained Tungsten Miss won the 2021 G2 Bogie Leigh Futurity at Albion Park.

Tungsten Miss made it a perfect five from five start to her career in winning the Futurity, showing her customary early dash to find the front and beat home Cincinnati Lana by 2.25 lengths in 29.91 seconds.

Tungsten Miss is the latest star performer for the IDGA Syndicate comprising Dash, Tzouvelis and Ian Nash, with Cutlack now taking on the training duties.

Dash’s long and successful partnership with the Tzouvelis kennel came via a chance meeting.

“We had a bunch of footy mates that had always talked about getting into dogs and one guy said he knew Tommy. I approached him at the 40th and Tommy rolled his eyes as if to say, ‘here’s another drunk carrying on that isn’t fair-dinkum’,” Dash said.

“But we got 14 blokes together, put in $1000 each, paid $15 per-week and had the time of our lives for about eight years.”

The group would amicably go their separate ways but Dash was hooked and decided to press on.

“I stayed in a couple of brood bitches with Tom and one of them was Miss Lauryn,” Dash said.

Raced by the late Len Antonio and trained by Tony Brett, Miss Lauryn won eight of her 26 starts for a modest $23,000 in prizemoney.

She was purchased by the IDGA Syndicate for $9000, which could be considered a bargain buy given Tzouvelis estimated her progeny had now won more than $700,000.

Miss Lauryn has produced the likes of Cooper Dooper, She’s Some Gal and fan favourite Brandi Alexander – named after Dash’s mother’s favourite drink, not the footballer – who earned the syndicate more than $100,000.

“Brandi was crazy to deal with, whereas Tungsten Miss has a beautiful nature but both can jump,” Dash said.

“I think the key to Tungsten Miss is that she has jumped at every start and stays out of trouble, that’s half the battle.”

Tungsten Miss, who cracked a hock just months before winning the Dave Brett Memorial Maiden Series, has improved at each Albion Park start and broke 30 seconds for the first time in winning the Futurity.

Tzouvelis said he and Dash had a strong understanding and friendship, even going on overseas holidays together.

However, things got off to somewhat of a rocky start.

Tzouvelis remembers Dash being on hand for his first greyhound’s first outing.

The lure stopped mid-trial and the greyhound suffered a nasty injury.

“I thought ‘Oh no, we’re not off to a good start’,” Tzouvelis remembers.

“We raced the dog to the vets and luckily, everything was okay.”

Dash said he was well versed in the highs and lows that racing can bring, which is why the Futurity win will hold a special place in his heart.

“What people who aren’t in racing don’t appreciate about why you celebrate a win, is because everything has to go right and so often, it doesn’t,” Dash said.

“You can have a dog that is brilliant and never gets to show it, which is why it’s special when it happens.

“It’s not about making money because … I don’t think I’ll even be in front … It’s about the camaraderie, the memories, the friends and the photos on the wall.”

With the help of Cutlack, he hopes Tungsten Miss can add more photos to his wall in the near future.

“Jedda has been fantastic … she’s given it her all and devoted herself to the dogs,” Dash said.

“Tom helped her out and gave her some provincial class dogs and she has brought them on.

“We’ve all got full confidence that she knows what she’s doing, and we’re really happy for her.”

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