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Brothers chase $5000 for ‘Battler Brian’

Axedale’s Brian Brown, 69, has no illusions of grandeur in the sport.

He’s a stereotypical grassroots trainer who just loves the thrill of racing greyhounds.

A former road maintenance worker for the City of Greater Bendigo, Brown only started training in 2008 – but that doesn’t mean he was a complete novice in the sport.

“I owned a couple of greyhounds in the 1970s but had a break for around 30 years due to family and work commitments,” Brown said.

“But I got back into greyhound racing after building some concrete water tanks in Junortoun for Barry McNamara and Lorraine Cookson. They had a litter there and offered me a free pup.”

Once again, Brown had ‘caught the bug’ and now has seven greyhounds in work along with two 16-month-old pups and a brood matron, Shout Out Loud, who he also trained.

And two of Shout Out Loud’s progeny – litter brothers Silver Compass and Another Episode – will represent Brown in the $5000-to-the-winner GRV Battler’s Cup final (425m) at the Group 2 Bendigo Cup meeting on Friday night.

WATCH: Silver Compass (4) takes out a GRV Battler’s Cup heat at Bendigo last week in a smart 24.12sec.

Pawnote: Brown rates city winner Pure Titanium and his litter brother Gold Compass as his best greyhounds.

“It’s fantastic, this concept just helps the battlers immensely,” Brown said. “It gives us a target and a plan, knowing that we are not competing against the top brass,” he said.

Brown landed a double last week when Silver Compass (24.12sec) and Another Episode (24.47sec) took out their respective GRV Battler’s Cup heat.

“At the moment they’re handy, but there’s a limit to what they can do,” he said. “They’re good Tier-3 dogs and that’s why it’s great to be racing for this type of money.”

Brown added that Silver Compass (Box 4), who has won six races from 31 starts, is his best hope in the final.

“The trick with him is that, with the social distancing protocols, he’ll be going in last,” he said. “He can play up in the boxes if he’s in there for a length of time. But he can ping the boxes and I give him a big chance.”

But Brown is less confident about Another Episode (Box 3), who has won two races from 19 starts. (Ironically, both sprinters had the same box draw in their heat.)

“He had some injury problems as a pup and has been slow to mature. But lately I’m seeing a difference and improvement in him. He’s just starting to twig what racing is all about.”

Brown wished to express his gratitude to Bamawm breeders Vivianne Giles and Peter Bartlett who whelped down the March 2018 Worm Burner x Shout Out Loud litter.

Shout Out Loud was recently mated to 2018 G1 Melbourne Cup winner My Redeemer, and Brown said she was “sound asleep on the couch” during this interview.

“She’s now a family pet and has got a home forever.”

He has also trained a Bendigo treble but says a GRV Battler’s Cup quinella would be one of his most memorable achievements in the sport.

Photo credits: Amber Manning Photography.

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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