If consistency counts for anything, Lonnie Mach will claim an elusive 600m success at The Meadows tonight.
Lonnie Mach, one of just two greyhounds in Drysdale trainer Phillip Thomson’s racing team, has frustratingly finished runner-up in four of her five middle distance assignments at The Meadows.
“She’s finished first or second at 33 of her 56 starts so I can’t complain,” Thomson said.
“I bred her with my mate Neil Bell and we thought she’d be lucky to get 400m but the further she’s gone, the better she’s gone.
“She’s always thereabouts. If she doesn’t win she has a crack.
“She’s a joy to have and it makes going to the races so much fun. She’s just a beautiful dog.”
Lonnie Mach’s record of 56 starts for 14 wins and 26 minor placings underlines her competitive nature and consistency.
However, Thomson’s obvious affinity for Lonnie Mach and his greyhound in general runs much deeper than racetrack facts and figures.
“I was suffering depression and found that the dogs took my mind off things; they became my happy place to go,” said Thomson.
“If I’m having a bad day I just have to go and sit in the kennels. It’s my retreat.”
While her form is very difficult to fault, Lonnie Mach is an $12 outsider with TAB in race 6, to jump at 8.07pm, with class runner Tauwitchere the $2.50 favourite from box eight after a last start second in a Melbourne Cup heat, behind Topgun hero Get It Gizmo.
Andrea Dailly’s Rockstar Prince is the $3.90 second elect after a successful expedition to NSW where he won Dapto’s lucrative Middle Distance Championship.
“It’ll be interesting taking on Tauwitchere and the Rockstar dogs,” said Thomson.
“I need to get out and lead to be any chance against these dogs that are going to be stronger at the finish of the race but we know she jumps well and every time I go to the races I know she’s going to give 110 per cent.”
Remarkably, Lonnie Mach is a member of the only litter sired by Marcus Joe, winner of the Group 1 Maturity in 2013.
“There were only two pups in the litter; Lonnie Mach and Marcus Joy, which has won five times and run 16 placings,” Thomson explained.
“Barry Moloney, who owned, trained and bred Marcus Joe has been my mentor and I think the best thing I’ve done in greyhound racing is learn from Barry.”
Photo credits: Jason Mckeown Photography (Facebook)