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Melbourne Cup Proves Greyhound Racing is Leading the way as a Female-Friendly Sport

The TAB Melbourne Cup is arguably Australia’s most coveted greyhound race, and what may have gone somewhat unnoticed is that five of the eight finalists on Friday night were prepared by female trainers.

2015 has been an astounding year for female achievement across different sporting codes. The Australian women’s cricket team reclaimed the Ashes, the national netball team, the Diamonds, won the Constellation Cup and Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win thoroughbred racing’s prestigious Melbourne Cup.

As a young female greyhound trainer I am proud to say that Victorian greyhound racing is well and truly to the fore when it comes to the acceptance of women as equals.

Greyhound racing in Victoria dates back to the 1860s, yet it wasn’t until the 1970s that women were allowed to obtain a greyhound trainer’s license in this state. How times have changed.

‘It is a commonly held belief that some greyhounds respond positively to the gentle nature of women, and a happy greyhound is one more likely to perform at its peak.’

These days there are a number of established female stewards, trainers, handlers, catchers, kennel attendants, race starters and race judges throughout Victoria. Due to this in-depth involvement, it is no surprise to see the dominance that female trainers are having at the moment within the industry, even if it is often a team effort with their male partner.

In fact, many trainers actually contribute women to the success of their greyhounds. It is a commonly held belief that some greyhounds respond positively to the gentle nature of women, and a happy greyhound is one more likely to perform at its peak.

Having been born into a greyhound family, I have seen this with many greyhounds, but specifically with my own racing greyhound Winston Rose.

Winston is incredibly well known around the Sale area due to his outgoing nature. The staff at my local greyhound track at Sale are mostly young females who Winston has adopted as his own. He reacts to the women exuberantly as he receives their hugs and affection.

Winston is constantly surrounded by women and will continue to be, and I look forward to him obtaining his special green collar from the Greyhound Adoption Program (exempting him from wearing a muzzle in public) once his career ends, upon which point I’ll adopt him as a pet.


Bonnie Chignell picks out her best recent runs on the Gippsland circuit


Traralgon Saturday 14 November

Sugar Bang (Lesley Russel): This 18.23 winner set up a kennel quinella Jay Kay Be running second (Replay)


Oakmont Whisper (Desmond McPhie): Coming from the middle of the field, this dog scored the second win of his career (Replay)

Sale Sunday 15 November


Why Not Les (Greg Carter): Having his first race at Sale, not only did he win but he did so in the convincing time of 24.92  (Replay)


Fire Up (Tamika Fasoli)

Winning in its third start, this dog broke its maiden status from the red box (Replay)

Warragul Tuesday 17 November


Crackdown (Jess Hopkins): Led all the way to score his first official race (Replay)


Dr. Des (Judith McMahon): An astonishing performance after being last early in the race. He paid $38.20 for the win (Replay)

Cranbourne Wednesday 18 November


Turfman (John Carr): Winning in 30.51, he was part of a double on the night for trainer John Carr (Replay)


Mighty Sprite (Amy Lauterboom): This dog is on fire scoring another win in 17.46 in what was his 21st victory (Replay)

WATCH: TAB Melbourne Cup highlights including Kiss, Robbie Williams, ‘Arnie’ and an interview with Paul Wheeler – breeder and owner of Dyna Double One and Fernando Bale who ran one-two in the big race.

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