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Brown toast and vegemite? Och Eye, Mum…

Sometimes you just have to give yourself a birthday present. Such was the case at Geelong on 8 June, when Och Eye Mum (Fernando Bale – Rockin’ Josie) saw her fourth birthday coming and gave herself a win: her first, from 57 starts.

Proud St. Albans owner/trainer Andy Morrison explained his joy succinctly: “If I could have done a summersault I would have!”

Speaking with Gareth Hall on RSN, Andy also personified the spirit of persistence, the importance of the greyhound community and the way greyhounds become mates.

Andy’s been training for five years, and at the age of 69 he’s not losing energy for the dogs.

“When I first got Och Eye, I took her out to a slipping track, and she didn’t know what to do. Luckily, I had Sally with me, so I put her in as well, and suddenly, off they went!”

“I got her (Och Eye Mum) about five years ago. I had another dog at the time, Lay Down Sally, but she had some bad habits.”

“I managed to fix some of her problems and had her out for 21 starts but then in 2016 she broke her leg. I’m really glad I kept her though, she’s here at home with me now.”

Andy’s self-taught in the training game, brought about when he lost his partner of 20 years.

“I lost Nora and only had Sally, so I thought I would have a crack at training, so I got my licence when I got Och Eye.”

The two dogs are best mates but are also a great support for Andy.

“I didn’t know what I would do without them. I’ve got a few mates, but lately, in lockdown, I really haven’t been able to get out and see them.’

“I’ve been getting a bit of help from some mates, like Ronnie Wood in Warragul and Michael Myer up Ballarat way, they’ve been really helpful when I get stuck. It’s a really supporting community.”

As for special treats for Och Eye on her win, Andy reckons one treat the day of the race was the difference. Shying away from the usual fast-food delicacies, Andy shared his trick.

“Brown toast and vegemite. I reckon it made her run quicker!”

WATCH: Och Eye Mum (8) scores a breakthrough win at Geelong on 8 June at the huge odds of $19.10

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Phillip Weir
About Phillip Weir - Phil Weir is based in regional Victoria and has spent a lifetime working in the media. He has a keen interest in the origins of greyhound racing and is a foster carer for the Greyhound Adoption Program.
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