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SALE CUP HEATS: Stepping into the Ring in Search of Life Long Dream

According to Neerim South Trainer Gerard O’Keefe, the Group 1 Sale Cup (650m) is one of the calendar year’s most prestigious greyhound racing events.

The 2015 series – which kicks off with four heats on Sunday night – sees he and Co-Trainer, Kelvin Jones securing positions with litter brothers Bells Are Ringin (won 10 from 20) and Ring The Bell (6 from 21) on Sunday night.

“We are both based in Gippsland and with the Sale Cup being the premier race in the region, it was always going to our aim with any dog we had that was suitable. We are certainly proud to represent Gippsland and we have been blessed to have two runners.”

“They are the youngest dogs in the field. They have had the least experience and have had the least amount of starts out of all of the dogs across the four heats. We are relying on a bit of luck but the dogs are good hard chasers with plenty of natural talent and plenty of chasing determination,” O’Keefe said.

Both greyhounds are owned by the Four Frothys Syndicate, comprised of Gerard’s son-in-law Glen, Glen’s brother Grant and a long time family friend, Jamie. This type of ownership truly makes it a family affair.

“They are the youngest and most inexperienced dogs in the series, but they have natural talent and plenty of determination” – GERARD O’KEEFE

While O’Keefe and Jones aren’t big names in the sport, they have both been involved in training greyhounds since the 1970’s.

“It is a lifelong dream to get a dog in the Sale Cup Final. It is our greyhound racing ambition to one day win the Sale Cup and one of these dogs may do so,” explained O’Keefe.

“Bells Are Ringin is a tiny little fairy and when she skips to the front she is wonderful. Whereas Ring The Bell is extremely confident in everything that he does,” O’Keefe said of his greyhounds.

“They are both delightful dogs in temperament; two of the easiest dogs to train that you could ever find. We hope they go well, but also that they continue going on to bigger and better things”.

The first two placegetters in each heat will make to through to the final on Boxing Day, which boasts $107,250 in prize money including $75,000 to the winner.



PICTURED TOP: Bells Are Ringin wins in fine style at Sandown last start (Replay) and, inset, posing with Kelvin Jones (far left), Gerard O’Keefe (far right) and members of the Four Frothys Syndicate. Pics Clint Anderson.

Bonnie Chignell’s best recent runs on the Gippsland circuit


Traralgon Saturday 12 December
Heston Lodge (Christine Haigh): Coming in as a reserve, this dog capitalised on his opportunity scoring a win in the GRV Vic Bred Heats (Replay)

Zelemar Zonk (Stephen Reed): Making it two in a row, he powered to the front and never gave up his lead (Replay)

Sale Sunday 13 December
Oakmont Blonde (Desmond McPhie): Makes it three wins in a row with an almost six length win over the 440m (Replay)

Warragul Tuesday 15th December
Master Sonny (James Ennis): This dog not only scored two wins in a row, but also set up the first run for a double on the night for his Trainer (Replay)

Galloping Ashley (Bob Iredale): Led all of the way to win at the nice odds of $8.50 (Replay)

Cranbourne Wednesday 16 December
Chicken Licken (Nicole Lund): This dog has found some form wining two in a row (Replay)

Evers Bale (Robert Camilleri): Overcame an early deficit to power through for his 17th career win (Replay)

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