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‘Omega’ – Sale precision!

Current 2021-22 Sale Greyhound of the Year leader Omega Dodge commands cult idol status on the Gippsland track.

Omega Dodge (24pts) heads the GOTY from arch-rival Dr. Slats (14pts) while his Seaspray trainer, Barry Harper (13pts), sits third behind William McMahon (26pts)  on the TOTY table.

There have been some feted dogs at Sale, and arguably the greatest of them all was Jesaulenko. Amazingly, he was the unofficial ‘King of Sale’ over a four-year period (2015-19) with more than half of his 53 career wins at the track.

Prepared by Terri-Maree Morris at Traralgon, Jesaulenko was also a dual G1 runner-up (2016 Melbourne Cup & 2017 Temlee) and contested eight Group race finals.

“And he goes up to all the girls working in the kennels for a pat… He’s a real smoocher!”

Omega Dodge is not in that realm, but Harper is heartened he’s drawing a similar breath – at least from a Sale perspective – with Jesaulenko.

And he sees an irony, as Omega Dodge’s ‘uncle’ – Omega Sniper – was a victim of Jesaulenko’s sheer brilliance on several occasions.

On the weekend, Omega Dodge (Aug ’18 Barcia Bale x Omega Brittany) notched his 17th win from 45 starts over Sale’s 440-metre sprint trip. It was his 18th win (with 12 seconds and four thirds) from 53 starts – including nine of his past 14 – and he made it five from 10 exiting Box 8.

“He’s a ‘noise’ chaser; he races to beat the other dogs,” Harper said. “And he loves it out wide. From the ‘six’ out, that’s his go.

“He also tore his left back muscle very early in his career and has raced with it ever since. He’s got a heart; he loves to win.”

Harper added that Omega Dodge – bred and owned by his wife, Heather – is the “gentlest, easy-going dog you could imagine”.

“When we arrive at the track, he pulls on the lead to get a cuddle from his catcher, Wendy Fasoli .

“And he goes up to all the girls working in the kennels for a pat… He’s a real smoocher!”

Harper also revealed the catalyst behind the ‘Omega’ prefix.

“When we lived out at Darriman, we weren’t too far from the Omega Tower – a tracking station for shipping all over the world.”

WATCH: Omega Dodge (8) notches his 17th win over 440m at Sale last Sunday.

Possibly Omega Dodge’s biggest admirer is SENTrack ‘Sale Sundays’ co-host Jason Bonnington.

“I think he said one night, ‘Omega Dodge could go around Sale blindfolded’,” Harper exclaimed. And Bonnington confirmed that statement on his ‘favourite greyhound’.

“He’s visually spectacular even when he doesn’t win,” Bonnington said. “I just love his desire and will; he knows how to win.

“If you’re involved in racing and you don’t get attached, there’s something wrong… He’s a bit of a superstar!”

Sale track specialist Omega Dodge with trainer Barry Harper.

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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