Victoria’s premier trainer Andrea Dailly, husband Tom and Tom’s brother George – aka ‘Team Dailly’ – forged one of the greatest partnerships Australian greyhound racing – make that sport – has seen with legendary breeder Paul Wheeler, until the industry icon’s tragic recent passing.
“The biggest thing that ever happened to us was the day Paul Wheeler asked us to train his dogs,” said George Dailly.
“Paul gave us the chance to show what we could do.
“We had a lot of great times training Paul’s dogs but more importantly, it was the man he was. It was a shock to lose him.
“When we started training dogs for the Wheeler family 20-21 years ago, for probably the first ten years we mostly spoke to Paul when he was sending us dogs, or it was time for us to move some of his dogs on.
“But over the last eight or ten years we developed a really good friendship.
“I always looked forward to Paul’s phone calls; we spoke about everything, racing, business, what was going on in the industry. There was no bullshit with him, he was never afraid to give you his opinion!
“As successful as Paul was, he never sat on his bum. He was always looking to the future and working out how he could improve things. He always had a plan to take things to the next level.
“He was a visionary and that’s why he was so successful.”
The omnipotent Dailly/Wheeler association was highlighted by the great Fernando Bale, the greyhound racing world’s first million-dollar earner, an eight-time Group 1 winner and regarded by many as the best ever.
The families also combined to win two Melbourne Cups, courtesy of another ‘millionaire’ in Dyna Double One, a four-time G1 winner that ran down Fernando Bale in an unforgettable 2015 Cup final, and 2011 winner Dyna Tron, the year the Wheelers incredibly supplied seven finalists.
“Fernando Bale was the best but there were so many,” Dailly said.
“Dyna Double One, Dyna Tron, Cromlah Bale (G1 Vic Peters Classic, G2 Traralgon Cup) and Allen Deed (G1 Adelaide Cup, The Meadows 525m Track Record).
“Then you’ve got Heston Bale and Bekim Bale that both could’ve broken the Sandown record in maidens at a Sunday meeting if things had gone their way.”
While the Wheeler relationship continues unabated, the Daillys are now making a significant impact with their own breeding lines and it’s absolutely no surprise Paul’s fingerprints can be seen on their success.