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Little Aussie battlers!

Marong owner-trainer Geoff Williamson epitomises the “little Aussie battler” colloquialism.

Williamson, 60, is a hobby greyhound trainer and a real underdog in the sport.

He was introduced to greyhound racing by a neighbour, Frank Flegg, and has been training greyhounds for 10 years but is yet to train a city winner.

A gaming and bar attendant at the Bendigo Club entertainment, functions and hospitality venue, Williamson also hasn’t worked since late March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But he keeps persevering despite the odds being stacked against him.

However, it’s said “failure can’t cope with persistence” and Williamson may have his ‘moment in the sun’ when Berringa Blue lines up in Heat 7 (Race 9 Box 7 – 4.32pm) of the inaugural GRV Battler’s Cup (425m) at Bendigo on Wednesday.

Many hobby trainers with genuine lower-class greyhounds have gravitated to the popular concept, so much so that 10 heats will be conducted.

“It’s a great idea… I didn’t know all the parameters, but we met the criteria,” Williamson said. “I’ve been looking forward to this series since it was advertised.”

Berringa Blue is a canine “little Aussie battler”, having started on 25 occasions for one win – and that was at Bendigo on February 10. So, it’s been a long time between drinks!

WATCH: Berringa Blue (1) registers his sole win to date – at Bendigo on February 10.

Regardless, Williamson is up for the challenge and feels buoyant about Berringa Blue’s chances.

“He’s been placed in three of his past four starts, and I reckon he’s a massive chance considering the likely favourite (Flaming Assassin) is a scratching,” Williamson said.

“He’ll have two vacant boxes on his immediate inside and that will help him immensely. He’s a big, gangly dog but should now get plenty of room.”

Williamson added that Berringa Blue (Mar ’18 My Bro Fabio x Home You Go) had been late to mature and “still has a bit of puppy in him”. “He’s very quiet and has a beautiful nature; he’ll make a lovely GAP dog.”

Williamson also races Berringa Blue’s litter sister (Maggie Pie) with their Shepparton breeder, Clint Arthur.

“Clint also owns and trains handy sprinter Go Pies. Needless to say; he’s a one-eyed Collingwood supporter,” Williamson said.

Pawnote: The GRV Battler’s Cup final will be staged on Friday night, July 3 and carries a $5000 first prize – the equivalent to a city class win.

Peter Quilty
About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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