Tutt elects for a new mark

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By Gary Clark

Playing Aussie rules, presiding over a race club, training greyhounds and getting into politics was not enough for a tireless worker in the ACT, who has also managed to get 18 new owners into the sport.

Allan Tutt has been involved in the sport since a teenager and became connected with the Canberra greyhound club in 2000 as a board member before leaving and returning in 2010, eventually taking over as president in 2016.

“I was pushed in to taking the job by former president and life member, Mick Curtain,” Allan recalls.

It has been a testing time since 2016 for the club and Allan when greyhound racing was closed in the ACT on the back of the Baird’s government pending closure of the sport in NSW.

“We went through three major court cases over 2 ½ years to get the decision overturned,” he said. “It was a financially testing.

“The Goulburn club approached us back in early 2018 and after lengthy talks we were able to come to an agreement to race at the Goulburn track.”

That move two years ago provided the Canberra club with a lifeline, but now their future is unknown and the upcoming elections in the ACT could well be their last chance for survival.

“This is our last chance to get greyhound racing operational again in Canberra and there is confidence within the community that a change of government is badly needed,” Allan explained.

“This government has been there for 19 years and if we can get the Liberal party in then our opportunity to get the ban overturned becomes a reality.”

So come this October it is a crucial time for the Canberra club and Allan is going to ensure he has a say in the election.

Allan has joined the Velco party as an independent and is campaigning strongly to the people of the ACT for a change of government and a win for the greyhound industry.

“I want to right the wrong, to have a ban-free industry Australia wide,” he said.

So, while Allan is steering the club and getting political, he is also training his greyhounds and running his clothing business.

He opened his own business 20 years ago, Canberra Clothing Accessories, a business that does embroidery, corporate wear and services sporting clubs.

As a teen still at school, Allen, who was born and bred in the ACT, watched his neighbour walk his dogs and after leaving school decided he would get his own greyhound.

So, through a friend, Allan got his first dog, a giveaway named, Hot Rusty and it was a perfect start for him with the chaser winning six races at Temora, Goulburn and Queanbeyan.

Very modest about his success over the past three decades as an owner/trainer, Allan has had great results including a greyhound he bred, Rare Pearl, who made the final of the Golden Easter Egg in 2016.

“I bred the litter in the backyard and she was trained for me by Steve White,” he says. “I remember one of the best nights I’ve had was at Dapto when we backed a bitch I had, Rose Pattern, in from 33/1 – 8/1 and she won by nine lengths back in 2014. I’ve never had so much money on a racetrack “.

“I purchased her for $500 and she won me $10,000 in prizemoney”.

Other good chasers have been Bobnivick and current performers, Bide Your Time and Whata Lady.

But it has never been all about Allan in the sport and he just recently introduced 18 new  owners into the sport.

“I had a phone call from Goulburn Racing Manager, Pat Day, who said there were a number of first-time owners looking for a dog”.

As Allan does, he took up the challenge and after a second opportunity presented got a performed dog called, Uno Hostile, who made its debut last month for his new connections.

“We are not expecting any city wins with this dog and already the syndicate of 18 are talking about buying another dog”.

Allan helped them overcome a couple of hurdles at first when trying to buy a dog and it has been his persistence that has had good results for the group which includes, accountants, teachers, landscapers and a law clerk.

The new people into the sport are, Paul Shlager, Jackson Crowe, Luke McKay, Issac Taylor, Tom Highmore, James Lightbody, Liam Tutty, Nick Anderson, Ethan Rosin, Ben McMahon, Sam De Sousa, Jack Ellis, Richard Woods, Angus Dryburgh, Tom Vane Tempest, Nikhil Mathai, Nick Eynaud and Clement McManus.

While he was training his dogs, he also took up playing AFL and his ability as a footballer was later rewarded.

Allan played from the mid ‘80s to 1992, firstly for St Kilda then South Adelaide and finished with his home team of Ainsley.

He won three premierships with Ainsley, but it was his skill with St Kilda that earned him a place in the team of the century at the highest level in 2000.

His move to Adelaide was another positive turn in his life as it was where he met his wife, Diana. They married and have two children, Andrew, now 29 and Sarah (27).

Allan remembers one night at the track while he was playing for South Adelaide: “I had a runner at Strathalbyn, called, Likely Point, so I got all the team, 30 of them to the meeting.

“It was a huge night. The dog won, the players signed autographs. It was a huge evening for the club”.

So, this ‘Rover’ on the field was always nervous in front of big crowds.

“I got a real stress release by training the dogs and it made it easier when playing,” Allan explained.

The football talent remains in the Tutt blood as daughter Sarah has followed in dad’s footsteps and is in the GWS squad.

She has already played rep AFL in the ACT and after injury setbacks is waiting her chance to get on the field with the GWS Giants.

Allan has proven he is a winner and like all champion footballers, doesn’t take a backward step.

So, after being a winner as an owner/breeder and trainer, club president and footballer, he now has his opportunity to prove himself as a politician.

This will be his greatest challenge so far – one that can give back an industry to a Territory that his been denied the sport of greyhound racing for the last four years.

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