In racing, just as it often is in life, what goes around, comes around.
Brian Honey didn’t really have any intention of running any of his greyhounds in the heats of the GRNSW + Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase at his home track in Wagga Wagga.
“We have been affiliated with the club all our lives, I’ve been president, treasurer … everything, over a lot of years, and anything we can do to help them out, we do it,” Brian explained.
“When we heard that they were extending the nominations for the meeting, and they were a bit short for the heats, we decided to nominate.
“She’s (his bitch Lace Monster) too slow early for any other shorter distances - she wants a bit further than the 525m actually – but last week the only 525m races were the Million Dollar heats, so we decided to put her in and see what happened.”
What happened was a shock to most at a rain sodden Wagga track last Thursday week. Lace Monster was third last early, but, as Brian said, she is strong late, and came with a strong burst to charge to the lead and salute, much to the chagrin of punters who never like seeing a 40-1 chance win.
“It was a great night. We couldn’t go crook about the rain because it’s been pretty scarce around here, and then Lace Monster wins,” Brian said.
Unlike many of the dogs he has had, Brian and his wife Jean bred Lace Monster.
“We haven’t bred for a long time and this is the first litter for years,” he said. “The kids - the whole family actually - decided it. They said why don’t you get a litter, so we did.
“We had the mother, Wife Swap, and we bred with her and our family and their friends all decided to syndicate most of them. We’ve got four here - that’s all I have in the kennel - and they are all having a ball with them.”
The quartet are Lace Monster, Agroroo (five wins) Sister Tee (four wins) and Glorious Leader (three wins).
The name of the last of those, is the same as the winner of the 1959 Wagga Gold Cup … and yes, that Glorious Leader was also trained by Brian Honey.
“The first winner I ever had when I was 15, was Riverina Smile, and she was just a cast off, and then we got another giveaway, and she won the Wagga Cup. That was Glorious Leader.
“The kids wanted to name one of these pups Glorious Leader. She had a broken leg as a pup, and we were going to give her away to a good home, but they wanted to keep her. We did, and now she’s won three races.
“We’re having a good run with them and having a wonderful time with all of them, and it’s great having the family involved.”
Brian is turning 78 this year, and he and Jean don’t do the travel they used to.
“I’ve always been here in Wagga, but we have been to just about every carnival in Australia. We used to target events all over the place, but we don’t do much travel now. I’ve only been to Wentworth Park once or twice though. It would be nice to take this girl there (for the semi-finals of the Million Dollar Chase), but we’ll see what happens.
“It’s just good to be a part of it regardless of what happens in the final.”
*Photo Courtesy of Courtney Rees - Wagga Daily Advertiser