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Galo’s ‘halo’ still glows

Garry Selkrig has retired the cult idol Peter Galo, who won 47 races from 82 starts following a back muscle injury.

A rising five-year-old, Peter Galo (Dec ’15 Peter Rocket x Flossy) now has the ‘life of Riley’. He is living in luxury with Simon Jardine and partner Mel Rocchiccioli on a 60-acre property at Ouyen.

Jardine, 32, a leading harness driver in the Sunraysia region and proprietor of Ouyen Tyre Centre, had owned greyhounds with Selkrig and knew Peter Galo was a pin-up.

“I’ve always wanted to take in a retired greyhound as racing is in my blood,” he said. “So, when Garry posted on Facebook that he was retired, I phoned him. He knew the layout of my property and thought it would be a good fit.”

Jardine said Peter Galo was “a bit sooky” on the first couple of nights but had settled in well.

“Mel let him inside on the second night and he took over the couch,” he said. “And he’s become good mates with our four-year-old border collie, Bronte. We walk them around a man-made lake every night.”

He added: “We’ve only had him for two weeks and already he’s made a big impression. He’s a beautiful natured dog.”

Peter Galo was afforded blue-eyed boy status at Healesville where he won six races from nine starts over 300m and 17 races from 28 starts over 350m – including an 18.65sec TR in the 2019 Listed National Straight Track Championship.

But Jardine says it’s a similar situation in Ouyen where many of the country township’s 1200 residents, and more on neighbouring farms, consider him a ‘celebrity’.

“I’m probably the catalyst for his huge following in Ouyen and now a lot of my mates are messaging wanting to meet Peter Galo in the flesh,” he said. “When he won the Shepparton Cup a couple of years ago, there were quite a few of us having drinks in the Victorian Hotel after a local footy match. You should have heard the commotion when he won, as Peter Galo ‘paid’ for the drinks!”

In a lovely gesture, Selkrig gifted Peter Galo’s Shepparton Cup photo and NSTC rug to Jardine, who says are proudly displayed in his man-cave.

Owned by the Terracotta Warriors syndicate, comprising Selkrig and Mark Burgin, Peter Galo took his connections on what Selkrig describes as “half a magic carpet ride”.

“We’ve had a lot of fun and pleasure, but the ‘ride’ wasn’t completed due to persistent injuries,” he said. “He had heaps and heaps of ability, but we didn’t see his full potential. Honestly, most of the time when he was beaten, he pulled up with an injury.”

Selkrig, who rates Peter Galo as the fastest dog he’s trained in nearly 50 years, added: “They loved him at Healesville, and he was favourite practically every time he started there. I enjoyed the feeling, but he was expected to win, and I also felt pressure.”

He also mentioned that Peter Galo was “asleep most of the time” at home, but on race days “it was gloves off”.

Peter Galo may be lost to racing – but, to greyhound racing fans, his ‘halo’ will always glow!

Just for the record…
82 Starts: 47-6-9
Stakes: $193,225

  • Won 2018 G2 Shepparton Cup
  • Won 2019 Listed National Straight Track Championship
  • 2020 G2 Warragul Cup (3rd)
  • 2019 G2 Gelong Gold Cup (3rd)
  • 2018 G2 Bendigo Cup finalist
  • 2017 G3 Healesville Cup finalist

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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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