Pakenham trainer Geoffrey Scott-Smith has been in and out of greyhounds for over forty years, and tonight his talented chaser Dundee Osprey (pictured above) is lining up in a heat of the Group 2 Queensland Derby (520m) at Albion Park.
With seven wins from 18 starts including a sizzling 29.11sec victory at Sandown Park in February (just over two lengths outside Bekim Bale’s then track record), Scott-Smith has decided to send his promising greyhound on his first interstate mission.
“The Queensland Derby is an age restricted race that offers $50,000 to the winner – it’s hard to pass up, even with the travel,” Geoffrey explained.
At 69, chasing interstate group races is foreign territory for Scott-Smith, and he has called on the vast experience of champion Queensland trainer Tony Brett to give his greyhound every chance of success.
Dundee Osprey flew to Queensland yesterday to stay with Tony, who also has greyhounds entered in the Derby heats.
“I contacted Tony out of the blue and he didn’t know me from a bar of soap, but he was so great to help me out. It just shows how good greyhound people are – they always want to help each other.”
Geoffrey holds a very special place in his heart for Dundee Osprey, who he has had from the day he was born.
“Owning, breeding and training greyhounds is very special. He showed the most ability in his litter as a pup, so it’s very rewarding to see him race around the tracks well,” Geoffrey explained.
Out of the six dogs that Geoffrey has on his property, five of them are from Dundee Osprey’s litter.
“Five in the litter have won races so far, while the other is yet to have her first start, but I am confident she will win a race for me.”
While taking a break from greyhound training, Geoffrey ran his own concreting business, but his love for greyhound racing and breeding proved too much of a temptation for the recently retired tradesman.
“Greyhound racing and breeding is a lot of fun; it was more of family thing back in the old days – and while it still is family-oriented, it’s a lot more professional now,” he said.WATCH: Dundee Osprey take out the last event on the card at Sandown, winning in a best of the night time of 29.11.
“He is a very capable dog, tonight he will just need a bit of luck in the first 50-60 metres because he is drawn a bit wide on the track.”
Dundee Osprey jumps from box seven in his first interstate venture. He faces fellow Victorian My Silver Chisel who is jumping from box six in the same heat.
To make it into next week’s Group 2 $69,250 Queensland Derby, the duo will need to finish in the top two or be among the two fastest third placegetters from the three heats.
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