By Isaac Murphy
Husband and wife duo Robyn and Glen Goodwin have been training greyhounds at Dapto since 1979 and despite the recent scare of losing the track the pair are flourishing with a kennel full of Velocity Lodge owned dogs headed by the outstanding Defy, who will play a part later in the summer carnival after his 29.84 victory at headquarters last week.
Originally Queensland trained Defy was with the late Glenn Smith, the dog sent to the Goodwin’s as Smith battled health issues.
“Steve Williams from Velocity Lodge owns Defy and Robyn (Goodwin) trains for Steve (Williams), and Glenn Smith who I never had the fortune to meet also trained for Steve (Williams) so when Glenn needed to move the dog on he came to us,” Glen Goodwin said.
“We were very keen to win first up with him for Glenn (Smith) he’d done a wonderful job with the dog and was in hospital at the time when he ran 26.30 at Bulli first start for us and we were rapt to give him one last win before he passed.”
The Goodwin’s weren’t sure exactly what they were getting with Defy, but a tip off from his old trainer that he was handy proved spot on the dog now boasting sixteen wins from his thirty starts across several new South Wales tracks.
“I spoke to Glenn (Smith) when we got him and he told me he’ll run the hands off the clock he wasn’t wrong, couple that with his laid-back beautiful temperament we were very fortunate,” Glen Goodwin said.
“He loves to get to the rail which mostly works in his favour, but brought him undone in the Golden Ticket heats when on the home turn he tried to sneak up the inside of Cooper Dooper, if he’d gone around him he probably runs in the final.”
“I thought he might do the same thing again last week when he was running behind Stinger Noir, but he found away past and ran home in 12.50 which all the good local judges said was low flying.”
A 29.84 victory was almost enough to persuade the Goodwin’s to bring the dog back for the Gold Bullion, but the long game came first with him and a kennel mate set for a trip to Brisbane late in the carnival.
“I nearly came back this week for the heats of the Gold Bullion after his 29.84 win, but he’s a real home body loves to spend a lot of time around Robyn and if we had to turn around and come back in a couple of days it’s probably a big ask for him,” he said.
“I run everything past Steve (Williams) but the plan in the back of my head is the Group Three Golden Sands over 600 metres at the end of the carnival I think he’ll love the 600.”
“We’ve got another little bitch with Steve (Williams) Velocity Tash who’s a good little sprinter that we’re looking to bring up for the Queensland Short Course Final on the 23rd of January.”
Years of experience have given Defy the best chance to win a lot of races, but Glen Goodwin said they were looking to take the dogs career to the next level.
“We’ve never rushed him we’ve always tried to place him with his fifth grade’s at Richmond where he’s run 30.40 and 29.8 at Nowra, 26.20 at Bulli, he’s trialled well at Wentworth park where there are still fifth grades for him,” Goodwin said.
“With all those options it would be easy to rack up some more wins at that level and call it a career, but I firmly believe that one day he’ll have the ability to push on to the 700 metres.”
Luckless in the Golden Ticket the Goodwin’s were able to keep the dog in Brisbane through Glen’s great friendship with Steve Scott who along with partner Kelli Olsen took Defy in for the week.
“I’m the same age at Steve’s (Scott) father but we’re like brothers,” Glen Goodwin said.
“He came down to Dapto about fifteen years ago with a team and I heard he was at the pub I’d been drinking at my whole life, so I went and had a chat and twenty beers and a few rums later we were good mates.”
“I gave him a few tips on what you wanted to be doing with your dogs at Dapto and over the three-week series Steve (Scott) ended up winning the Maiden and he’s always been thankful for the help I gave him way back then.”
“There aren’t many days that go past when we’re not on the phone, when he comes down here there’s beds and kennels and when I come up, I get the same treatment.”
The Goodwin’s are the type of people the industry is built upon life long trainers who don’t lose the passion, but Glen said they couldn’t do it without the support of Steve Williams and Velocity Lodge.
“We owe a lot to Steve Williams we wouldn’t have Defy without him and got to experience winning a Group One with Velocity Liberty for him, he gives us more than our fair share of dogs,” Goodwin said.
“I’ve lived in Dapto all my life and myself and Robyn have both trained since 1979, made an Australian Derby, made an Australian Cup had a bit of success enough to keep us going.”
“We’ve only got a small kennel six or seven at a time all owned by Velocity Lodge, we’ve seen the good and the bad over the last forty odd years but 2020 looks like a good one.”