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Norman McCullagh

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: NORM MCCULLAGH
CATEGORY: TRAINER

When Greyhound Racing Victoria launched its Hall Of Fame in 2009, legendary stayer Bold Trease was one of the inaugural inductees.

 

And at GRV’s 2018/19 Victorian Greyhound Awards ceremony, veteran Warrnambool trainer Norm McCullagh deservedly joined his immortal four-time Sandown Cup winner in the Hall Of Fame.

 

“Apart from his work and his family, greyhound racing has probably been the love of his life,” said Norm’s son Allan McCullagh.

 

“He’s very devoted to them and very caring and I know for a fact that a greyhound will go to the vet even before he’ll take himself to the doctor, so the greyhound always comes first.

 

“He probably talks to the dogs more than he talks to us!” he added with a laugh.

 

Norm enjoyed a remarkable bond with Bold Trease – The Warrnambool Warrior – that will go down in Australian racing folklore, winning four consecutive Sandown Cups in 1986-89, a feat it’s safe to say will never be repeated.

 

Norm has also won his hometown Warrnambool Cup twice, courtesy of Super Mira (1984) and Midnight Flirt (1995), while in 2000 he trained the trifecta in the Warrnambool Classic via Our Daisy, Ginger Rhode and King Shiraz.

“That period of time with Bold Trease was amazing,” Allan offered.

 

“He was public property, so the pressure was on and the expectation was high.

 

“He was an amazing dog obviously, with a great will to win, but he had his injury problems.

 

“He fractured his hock twice, so that took a lot of time and effort to get him back. It’s testament to dad and his training capabilities and the powers of the dog that he raced for so long.”

 

Norm is still winning the races that matter, this year celebrating an emotional victory in the Group 2 Bendigo Cup with Crimson Vixen, which also ran third in the Warrnambool Cup and qualified for the Group 1 Sapphire Crown.

 

“Crimson Vixen winning the Bendigo Cup was amazing,” said Allan.

 

“I know deep down he was really keen for her to win a good race and that turned out to be it.

 

“He was pretty wound up all week in anticipation and to get the result he was pretty emotional.”

 

Norm continues to be in great demand when Sandown Cup time rolls around, while he makes the trip to Sandown Park on Melbourne Cup night where his champion is commemorated through the running of the Group 1 Bold Trease over the Sandown Cup course.

GRV's Hall of Fame

About GRV’s Hall of Fame: The people and greyhounds inducted into the Victorian greyhound racing Hall of Fame have been recognised for their excellence, integrity, consistency, longevity and overall contribution to the industry. For more information, click here.