Jeff Gorgioski’s affinity with Healesville has come about more through necessity than choice but he’s hoping it will continue when littermates Beers On Brody and Erupting Avatar tackle Sunday’s heats of the Healesville Puppy Championship (300m).
“I work full-time on night shifts as a store person so I race quite a bit at Healesville because the Sunday fits in very well with my work,” said Gorgioski.
“I’ve owned greyhounds for 30 years – they’re beautiful animals – but I had other people training them.
“I first got a trainers license in 1992 but I had four young kids and it’s real hard yakka if you do it properly so I didn’t end up renewing my license.
“Then about five years ago a mate and I decided to get our licenses at the same time; the kids tell me that I replaced them with greyhounds!”
Gorgioski’s two Puppy Championship contenders are littermates by US sire SH Avatar out of Paua To Escape, with Paua To Escape’s offspring very prominent in Jeff’s eight-member Devon Meadows kennel.
Jeff has five members of Paua To Escape’s second litter, by SH Avatar, in Always There, Always Primed, Beers On Brody, Cal’s Girl and Erupting Avatar, as well as Sole Elusion from her first mating, with Dyna Double One.
After training Sole Elusion and Elusive Anake from the first litter for owner/breeder Jordan Bovett, Jeff and wife Carolyn purchased Beers On Brody and Cal’s Girl as pups from the second mating, before later buying Always Primed and Always There.
“The Dyna Double One litter had a lot of speed but the strength wasn’t there,” Jeff explained.
“So with the second litter being by SH Avatar we thought they might be a bit stronger, although that hasn’t turned out to be the case. Ebby Ripper (Group-winning stayer) was by SH Avatar out of a Head Bound bitch and Paua To Escape is a Head Bound bitch too.”
Beers On Brody (heat 1), which has won four of his 28 starts, and the lightly-raced Erupting Avatar (heat 3), the winner of two from six, have both drawn box eight for their respective Puppy Championship qualifiers with Gorgioski identifying the latter as his best chance.
“I think she’s the better chance of the two,” he said.
“She has a lot of speed and drawn out in the pink over 300m I’m expecting a good run, although Ashlee Terry has one that will be hard to beat (Soda Diamond).
“Beers On Brody is quite a fast dog but he doesn’t get out quick enough.
“He’s had a bit of racing but he’s still very playful and I call him a clown! I think as he matures he’ll get better and better.
“There’s a couple of real smart dogs in his race including Cyclone Fergus, which has won two from two and has run 18.89s at Healesville.”
Jeff is hoping the beers will be on Brody on Sunday, explaining he came up with the name after the beers were on Vlad Duric after a successful punting afternoon with mates investing on the jockey’s mounts.
Gorgioski warmed up for Sunday’s Healesville assault on Friday when Always There broke her maiden up the straight at her 16th attempt after a frustrating run of minor placings.
“She’s well-named because she’s always thereabouts so it was good to see her finally break through.”
Healesville will host three heats of the Puppy Championship on Sunday with the opening heat to jump at 11.21am.
Photo by Jason Mckeown Photography