Norm McCullagh has trained many great racers over the past few decades, including the legendary Bold Trease, but he still enjoys it when a talented new dog comes along like Crimson Vixen.
The McCullagh-trained greyhound won the Lil Dickie Oaks at Ballarat last Saturday, beating a very strong field which included young stars Time To Talk and Black Opium. She ran the slick time of 25.00 seconds over 450 metres and paid $13.20 for the win. The race, which is for young female greyhounds and is named after long time Ballarat Club volunteer, the late Lil Dickie, boasts a $15,000 first prize.
“I was very pleased with her run and that it was the Lil Dickie Oaks. I knew Lil well over the years and she was a lovely woman, always ready with a coffee and chat after a busy day at the track. I think she would have been pretty happy with Crimson Vixen’s win too,” Norm said.
Sired by Barca Bale out of Weeping Lass, the two year fawn greyhound has only been racing since last November but has already racked up four wins from eight starts and Norm reckons she’s got a bright future.
“I bought her and her sister, Delta Rhode, from breeder Gary Peach, when they were about four months old, and I could see they had a bit of potential even then. She’s very quick at the start and very calm and collected out there on the track. While it’s hard to compare any dog to Bold Trease, she’s a good strong racer like he was,” Norm said.
Norm is now looking to run Crimson Vixen at The Meadows and Sandown to see how she goes in the city. He’s also enjoying the reactions of her owners, a Timboon-based syndicate called Mingo’s Mates, to the dog’s form.
“They’re a group of young men involved with the local footy team and Crimson Vixen is the first greyhound they’ve owned. They are really happy with how she’s going and hopefully I’ll be doing a bit more celebrating with them over the next few years.”