Tony Duncan has been given just six months to live after making the agonising decision to cease chemotherapy treatment for cancer, but the Harston (near Shepparton) owner/trainer/breeder has chosen to enjoy every precious moment he has left.
Greyhound racing and in particular Duncan’s home-bred rising star All Inn Billy, which is chasing a hat-trick at The Meadows in Saturday night’s Glenroy RSL FFA over 525m (Race 8 at 9.13pm), is going to be a huge part of that.
“I’ve gone off chemo and they’ve given me six months but I’m doing what I want to do,” Duncan said.
“I had a dog called All Inn Baz about 12-15 months ago that won seven races in the city and $80,000 in prizemoney.
“All Inn Baz was the best dog I’ve had in 38 years and I thought I’d never get another one as good but this bloke (All Inn Billy) is just as quick.”
As good as All Inn Baz was, but for being on the wrong side of a coin-toss with co-breeder Alan Ferguson, Duncan could have had an absolute star in litter brother Beast Unleashed, winner of the 2018 G2 Launching Pad and 2019 G2 Gosford Cup.
While Duncan is currently facing the toughest battle of all, All Inn Billy and his nine siblings faced their own fight for survival after their mother, All Inn Amy, which won 13 of 106 starts, passed away just hours after giving birth to the November ’18 Barcia Bale litter.
“She died about nine hours after she had the litter,” Tony explained.
“Luckily, I had a mate that had a Labrador and he took five of the pups and Judy Worsfold took the other five.
WATCH: All Inn Billy (2) wins his heat last week in a flying 29.80sec.
“You dream of litters like this. All Inn Dungee (5 wins) is a good dog too, All Inn Benny and All Inn Jasper (both 4 wins) have also won a few. Six of them can break 22 seconds at Shepp.
“I said to my dad, Ian, who’s 81 years old and still helps with the dogs, that the litter would win $100,000 and he laughed. But they’re getting close to it already!”
Tony is an excellent judge, as cracking six figures in earnings is a fait accompli.
The nine pups to have raced have all won, accumulating 32 victories between them thus far and earning $81,275 prizemoney in the process.
While Duncan’s health offers a sobering perspective, it’s a good thing Tony relishes battling the odds.
Because on Saturday night, All Inn Billy, winner of 10 from 24, his last two at The Meadows in a flying 29.80sec and 30.30sec, is tackling six runners from the powerful Dailly kennel and Jason Thompson’s multiple G1 finalist Equalizer, TAB’s $1.80 favourite.
All Inn Billy (Box 4) is one of the outsiders at $11 but the odds makers can’t factor in his proud trainer’s inspirational fighting spirit.
“They haven’t mucked around with him; they’ve thrown him straight into a FFA against the good ones,” Duncan quipped.
“But that doesn’t worry me at all. If you’ve got the dog, you can still beat them.
“Box four might make it tough for him on Saturday but he’s going to win a fair race one day.”
Here’s hoping that Tony Duncan will be trackside to see that happen.
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