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McInerney to go around for Tony in Pink Diamond opener

Tony McInerney has been described as a Melbourne University Blues Football Club stalwart – he was the heart behind the Blues. Over the journey he spent five years as president, nine as vice-president, 10 as senior team manager and canteen manager.

When he died late last year the tributes flowed.

And, at Bendigo on Friday night the tributes will continue in the final of the Pink Diamond greyhound series of events across regional Victoria.

The Pink Diamond grand finale at Bendigo will be the richest night of Victorian provincial greyhound racing in the sport’s history with $617,765 up for grabs including $80,565 in breeder bonuses.

Warrnambool owner-breeder Noel Mugavin has two of his dogs fronting up for the big night and says Bendigo greyhound club would be ecstatic with the quality of dogs it has running on Friday night.

“Anything that injects funds into the industry from and owner-trainer point of view and gives the Victorians a chance to compete for good rewards can only be good,” Noel said.

“Some of the breeder bonuses on offer and the promotion of Victoria’s country tracks opens up many opportunities in the future to keep the industry vibrant.”

On Friday Noel will be paying tribute to the Tony McInerny legacy. He has named his latest prospect, McInerney, after his good friend.

“I got to know Tony through my sons playing for Uni Blues,” Noel said.

“He was an absolute gentleman – you would not meet a better person and his namesake shows similar traits”

“He was an absolute gentleman – you would not meet a better person and his namesake shows similar traits. The dog, whose kennel name is Tony, has a good turn of speed and has a nice temperament.”

Mugavin hopes the Tim Britton trained McInerney, starting from box five in Race 1, will be as equally enduring as Tony.

The 18-month-old definitely has a good pedigree. Son of the great Fernando Bale, who some say was Australia’s greatest greyhound, and Born Ali, McInerney definitely comes from among greyhound racing’s regal stock.

Fernando Bale won $1,299,370 in prizemoney and became the first greyhound in history to win more than $1 million when he won the Adelaide Cup in 2015.

And Mugavin’s Victorian-bred champion Born Ali, also has an impressive history.

The winner of more than $250,000 prize money she has produced some notable chasers. Among them in the current crop of talented dogs is versatile speedster, Sweet As Emm . . . and now, hopefully McInerney.

And on Friday it’s a fair bet that the Uni Blues boys will be cheering for McInerney to get up for Tony and as Noel says: “If he has half the go in him that Tony had he’ll do alright.”

NOTE: If McInerney wins tonight’s Maiden Short Course Final, Mugavin stands to collect $10,000 (50% of first prize) + a $3,000 (breeders bonus). He also bred Grace’s Spirit, a finalist in tonight’s Pink Diamond Champion Distance Final (Race 6), and if she wins he’ll collect a $11,250 breeders bonus.


*This article was written by Tony Homfray

Race 1 – $33,405 MAIDEN SHORT COURSE FINAL (425m), 7.08pm
Prize money: $20,000 (1st); $5,700 (2nd); $3,350 (3rd)       
Breeder bonus: $3,000 (1st); $855 (2nd); $500 (3rd)

WATCH: McInerney (8) ran an encouraging 2nd in a heat of the Pink Diamond Maiden Short Course at Geelong last Friday and is at huge odds to win tonight’s final.

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