Dave Condon is confident his mother and training partner Joyce will celebrate her 79th birthday in style at Healesville on Sunday afternoon with victory in the lucrative GRV Vic Bred Maiden Series Final.
The Condon’s boast strength in numbers in the $7,500 to-the-winner straight track feature, with three finalists, the unbeaten Juno Away, Superior Shane and Superior Swagger, and Dave says victory will go a long way towards making amends for adding a couple of years onto Joyce’s age last year.
“I thought mum turned 80 last year and mentioned it to James Van de Maat (race caller). James wished her a happy eightieth and her phone started ringing straight away!” Condon laughed.
“Mum’s reminded me about it this week and I think I owe her this final because of what happened last year. Mum and I train the dogs together and we have a great partnership. She’s a beautiful lady and she works 15 hours a day, seven days a week with the greyhounds. She has so much love for them.”
Condon, 47, describes the undefeated Juno Away as “a class act” and rates the daughter of Fabregas as clearly the best chance of his trio after impressive 19.44sec and 19.31sec heat and semi-final victories at her first two starts.
“Juno Away is amazing,” Condon said.
“We prepared her to improve through the series and that’s what she’s done. We left a bit in the tank going into her first start, knowing what she was trialling. I thought she’d run mid-19.40s in her heat and low 19.30s in the semis and I honestly believe she’ll run low 19.20s in the final.”
WATCH: Juno Away in her second consecutive victory at Healesville from box five.
While Condon is upbeat about Juno Away’s prospects of maintaining her unblemished record, victory with either of his other two finalists would continue his rapidly expanding partnership with former AFL star Scott Wynd, winner of the 1992 Brownlow Medal while playing with Footscray.
“I knew Scott through business and he asked me to train a dog called Jess Umbridge (pictured) that wasn’t going that well. We ended up winning the Healesville Greyhound of the Year with him and our friendship has just grown from there,” Condon explained.
“Scott’s a fantastic person and about two years ago we put a plan together to get bigger with the dogs. Eventually I want to go full-time and we’ve got some very nice dogs coming through so we’re looking forward to an exciting couple of years.”
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