• Tuesday, 06 Jun, 2023,
  • by Peter Quilty

‘Roses’ bloom in Pink Diamond

Rosedale husband-and-wife team Jeff and Sharon Chignell’s ‘Rose’ suffix is starting to bloom in the $1.175m Sportsbet Pink Diamond – Australia’s richest regional greyhound series.

The Gippsland stalwarts have Jul ’21 Aston Dee Bee x Suzie Rose litter sisters Lottie Rose and Gypsy Lee Rose, and Granny Rose (Aug ’21 Bernardo x Macy Lee), in the Maiden Short Course semi-finals (400m) at Warragul on Friday night.

Last Sunday, Lottie Rose and Gypsy Lee Rose both finished second and Granny Rose fourth in their respective heats.

But the Chignells are not looking through ‘rose-coloured glasses’ – albeit they hope their triumvirate ‘come up smelling of roses’.

“I think Lottie Rose will go quite well,” Sharon said. “She’s a big girl (33kg), but she’s very honest. She can run a bit of time and wants to head to the inside.”

However, Sharon isn’t as buoyant about Gypsy Lee Rose and Granny Roses.

“Gypsy Lee Rose was late breaking-in because she came on season. She’s a little bit behind the rest in terms of experience but improving all the time.

“Granny Roses is an improving type but lacks a little maturity.”

“I think Lottie Rose will go quite well… She’s a big girl (33kg), but she’s very honest.”

The Pink Diamond – a Listed event for Victorian-bred greyhounds only – recognises the unsung role breeders play in the sport, with $118,810 available in breeder bonuses.

A fact not lost on the Chignells, who are synonymous with their homegrown breed. They currently have a small team of eight racing greyhounds and around 30 pups, between the age of 12 weeks and 16 months, on their 13-acre property.

“I love breeding… I love the little puppies and watching their development,” said Sharon passionately. “It makes it all worthwhile.

“And we think the Pink Diamond is a great concept. It helps the trainers and breeders to some degree.

“It’s the sort of thing that needs to happen to keep us in business. We need this type of concept to survive.”

The close-knit Chignells, who have been together for 30 years, were both born with the proverbial ‘lead and collar’ in their hands.

“We come from greyhound families – it’s in our DNA,” Sharon quipped.

WATCH: Debutante LOTTIE ROSE (B8) looks a ‘blossoming’ prospect with a gallant second to HUNTER FRED (B4) in a Pink Diamond Maiden Short Course heat at Warragul on Sunday.

“Jeff was a self-employed financial planner for more than three decades before retiring three years ago. He now says he’s never worked harder.”

In last year’s Pink Diamond finals at Ballarat, the Chignells finished seventh with Elmo Rose in the Champion Short Course and fourth with Nicholas Rose in the Veterans.

Incidentally, Nicholas Rose now lives the life of Riley at Sale Gardens – an aged care facility directly opposite the Sale greyhound track.

He’s lapping up luxury as the ‘self-acquired pet’ of a 95-year-old male resident who has taken him under his wings. He’s also shared and unconditionally loved by 63 other residents.

Now in its third year, the Chignells also have their kennel star Fred Rose (Dec ’20 Fernando Bale x Dash Of Rose) contesting a Pink Diamond Champion Sprinter heat (450m) at Shepparton on Thursday night.

Fred Rose has won 13 races (with 11 seconds and seven thirds) from 42 starts and almost $98,335 in prizemoney. He was a finalist in last month’s Group 1 Harrison-Dawson at Sandown Park.

The Chignell’s also have Fred Rose’s kennelmates – Bridgit Rose (Princess) and Minter Dominate (Rookie Sprinter) – racing on Shepparton’s ‘Pink Diamond’ heats fixture.

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

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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