We are set for an exciting night at Cranbourne Racing Club tonight with the running of the $7,250 Above All Vic Bred Final (520m) at 5:52pm with local greyhound Pretty Bomb (pictured with trainer Andrew Paraskevas and Ashlee Terry) leading the charge from Box 1.
Paraskevas, of Cranbourne South, witnessed Pretty Bomb secure her position in the final with a late challenge in her heat last week after overcoming a slow start and she looks a standout in the race.
“I did expect her to weave through the other dogs in her heat like she did. Unfortunately, she is not blessed with explosive speed at the beginning of her races, even though she positions herself in the boxes as best as any greyhound could. She takes a bit of time to wind up, but after that she always navigates herself through the field really well. I was happy with her endeavour in her heat last week, that’s for sure.” Paraskevas explained.
“If I had to choose a box, it would definitely be what she got (Box 1) so I am happy. She should be able to use it to sneak up and position herself well on the first turn. She has plenty of ability so I expect her to go well.” Paraskevas continued.
Over the years, Paraskevas has relocated several times before finally settling in Cranbourne South. Teaming up with another trainer, Ashlee Terry, the pair has developed a bond through their greyhounds which personalises their racing team.
“Watching my puppies come from having raw talent and developing into race dogs is a really rewarding feeling” – ANDREW PARASKEVAS
“I originally moved from Melbourne. I then spent a few years in Kilmany (in Gippsland) and then I moved to Cranbourne. The opportunity came up to buy a place here and so I did about 2-3 years ago and now there are approximately 35 dogs ranging from pups to breeding dogs here. Ashlee lives here too and we have a mix of our own dogs and some together. She is a big part of what we do here.”
Paraskevas grew up with very little hands-on greyhound experience, but his initial introduction was through his father, who owed a number of greyhounds.
“I don’t come from a strictly greyhound background. Dad had a photo of a dog on the wall at home and I decided to get a greyhound and then it grew from there,”
“I had to do a lot of reading at the start and had a lot of input from others. Greyhound training has been my full time job for quite a long time now so I know quite a lot more than what I did when I was first starting out. Having Ashlee here now is also good because she knows so much too. You never stop learning,” he said.
Being the family sport greyhound racing is, Paraskevas’ often lends a helping hand.
“Dad owns some of the dogs we have here and he helps me when he can and he often comes to the track with me.”
Speaking of his future, Paraskevas is content…“I really enjoy doing this and am happy with what I am doing now. Racing is my main focus but I understand you have to be in the whole process. Watching my puppies come from having raw talent and developing into race dogs is a really rewarding feeling that is irreplaceable.”