There are two qualities that stand out with Kel Greenough, who was announced as the inaugural winner of the Metropolitan Trainer Strike Rate Award at Sunday night’s Victorian Greyhound Awards.
The first is that Greenough, who prepares a boutique team at Pearcedale, along with wife Jacqui, is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to preparing his racing dogs, leaving no stone unturned to ensure they are at their peak, both performance and fitness-wise.
Greenough’s other notable characteristic is that he never – never – gets carried away with either his greyhounds or his own achievements.
So when you factor in both these Greenough trademarks, it comes as no surprise that firstly, the astute conditioner won the Metropolitan Strike Rate Award or that he then chose to deflect any credit for the feat.
“If I don’t say it’s great staff, then I’m in trouble,” Greenough quipped when quizzed by GRV’s Molly Haines as to the key to his success.
“So obviously Jacqui, Angie (daughter) and Darren (Pattinson) help a lot, so all those things come into it.
“We rarely have more than 12 race dogs, so most of the time we’ve got six dogs racing, we’ve got work-up dogs and we’ve got the old dogs, so it’s not a big team and we can obviously never take on the Daillys or anything like that!”
Greenough added that there is no “secret” to his success; attributing it to hard work and routine.
WATCH: Houdini Boy (3) wins the 2021 Group 1 Zoom Top at The Meadows.
“It’s just groundhog day,” he said.
“We just get up and do the same routine every day. Nothing much changes. There’s no secrets with any anything we do – it’s boredom and routine!”
Over the course of the 2020/21 period, Greenough’s meticulous and at times – by his own admission – conservative approach saw his 94 city runners claim 25 wins at a 26.60% winning strike rate.
Greenough shaded another high profile Pearcedale trainer in Jason Thompson, who had 53 wins from 220 starters at 24.09% and Ben Magri, with 13 wins from 57 starts at 22.81%.
“Probably too conservative,” Greenough said.
“I try to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts and then you’ve still got to hope because you’ve got box draws to contend with and dogs that are better than your dogs. We all do our best and hope it all comes out.”
Greenough’s standout performer was freakish stayer Houdini Boy, which has been anointed Victorian Stayer of the Year, courtesy of victories in the G1 Zoom Top (725m) invitational at The Meadows and G1 Sale Cup (650m).
“Probably Houdini Boy would be our highlight,” Greenough said.
“Winning the Sale Cup was a big run and we were all happy about that.
The Greenough kennel was also home to WA sensation and Australian Greyhound of the Year Tommy Shelby for periods of the 2020-21 racing year.
1st – KELVYN GREENOUGH – 94 starters, 25 winners (26.6%)
2nd – JASON THOMPSON – 220 starters, 53 winners (24.09%)
3rd – BENJAMIN MAGRI – 57 starters, 13 winners (22.81%)
“We were extremely happy when Tommy Shelby won the Australian Cup because we were obviously all involved,” Greenough said.
“All these races are what you strive for and what probably gets you up every morning.”
While the Greenoughs only have a small racing team in work at any given stage, Kel said it’s likely the kennel will be further reduced heading into the future.
“Team Greenough will get less and less, I would imagine,” he said.
“We’re getting a bit old now, so we’re just going to try to scale down a bit and make life a bit easier for ourselves.”
The Victorian Metropolitan Strike Rate Award is presented to the registered Victorian trainer who has the highest percentage of total winners compared to total starters at full metropolitan stake money races conducted in Victoria (minimum 52 starters).
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