First time greyhound owners, the Peckerheads Syndicate, are on cloud nine after their Ready 2 Race bargain, Crook Me Kindly returned them $25,000 in a matter of 25.27 seconds in the Group Listed Northern Districts Cup (450m) at Shepparton on Saturday night.
After the group of nine former school mates from Catholic College ran a successful punters club throughout 2015 and 2016, they decided to register as greyhound owners and form the Peckerheads Syndicate. They put their earnings together and, upon following advice from a family friend, Nathalia greyhound trainer Michael Ellis, they headed to Greyhound Racing Victoria’s annual Ready 2 Race Sales at Bendigo last November.
“We were initially going to spend our winnings on a trip away together, but then we decided to do something more meaningful with our money. We considered a horse but quickly decided a greyhound would be a better option,” said Syndicate manager, Jordan Thorneycroft.
“Michael told us that before purchasing a greyhound to race we needed to have a plan in place for the dog’s life after racing, and my mother offered to keep our dog as a pet once its racing career is over.”
The Ready 2 Race Sales is filled with young, unraced greyhounds who compete twice in small fields over 425m before going to auction. After initially heading to the auction hoping to purchase a dog who could break the 24 second barrier, budget limitations forced them to rethink their strategy.
“We had picked out about five greyhounds who had broken 24 seconds that we planned to bid for, but those dogs sold for prices above our budget,” Thorneycroft said.
That’s when Crook Me Kindly, or ‘Sam’ as he was known throughout the R2R Sales, came into their calculations.
Just 20 months of age at the time, Sam won both his Ready 2 Race heat and final in the modest times of 24.44sec and 24.67sec respectively.
The Peckerheads Syndicate purchased the Colin Burton-bred son of Barcia Bale and Sprite Lee for the bargain price of $3,500 and gave him to Ellis to train and got him named. Crook Me Kindly made his debut two months after the sales, at Bendigo in January, a race he won in 24.74sec.
Ellis continued to train Crook Me Kindly up until August, when the greyhound was transferred to Lara’s Jessica Sharp to train. He has raced a total of 25 times so far for seven wins, six minor placings and $32,525 in prize money. The Syndicate has already forged many long-lasting memories through their purchase of Crook Me Kindly and they now have the prized Northern Districts Cup trophy in their keeping.
Incidentally, the runner-up in the Northern Districts Cup was another greyhound sold at the 2016 Ready 2 Race Sales, Peter Yap. Then known as Snowy, Peter Yap was bought for $4,100 by Essendon’s Con Dimopolous, and he has since accumulated a record of 29 starts for four wins, 19 minor placings and $17,265 in prize money.
GRV’s annual Ready 2 Race Sales return to Bendigo later this month. For full details and to download the catalogue, which provides plenty of useful information about purchasing a greyhound, go to ready2race.grv.org.au.