By Isaac Murphy
Jamie Hosking turned up at The Vince Curry Heats in early February with a seventeen-month-old pup named Columbian King, and he was ready to make some noise.
Unfortunately, he was struck down with a virus tipping him out for over a month but the silver lining came in the form of a birth in tomorrow’s Dave Brett Maiden Memorial Heats - a series Hosking thinks Columbian King has the ability to win.
“We’ve got a fair opinion of him, at nineteen months the one thing we’re not sure about is if he’s up to the 520 yet but he’s really strong at Capalaba and has just tended to lose his way on the circle at Albion Park so far,” Hosking said.
“I’m hoping he can get out and go from box six, his first and second sectionals are his sharpest if he can put a bit of a gap on them he might be hard to catch, but may get a little tired late with his first 520 in a couple of months.
“We’re very fortunate to have this race still on and to have his as a chance for the $12,000 winners purse is not to be taken for granted in these times.”
Hosking took Columbian King and his sister Waddling Witch to the Vince Curry hoping to progress into the semi’s and finals but with the virus sweeping through the kennel, the pair were only now hitting full stride again.
“We went into the Vince Curry thinking him and his sister had a really good hope of going deep in the series, as it turned out they picked up the virus and were pretty crook the day after the heats,” Hosking said.
“We gave them about a month and a half off and his sister Waddling Witch came out and won her maiden last Thursday night, so I think we’ve got them back to full fitness.”
Hosking would have liked to have a few races next to Columbian King’s name by now, but he’s had to settle for three places from four starts making him an ideal candidate for a maiden series.
“I thought he would have knocked off his maiden by now but he just hasn’t had any luck so it’d be brilliant if he could find some in a feature maiden like the Dave Brett,” Hosking said.
“I was very surprised to see only two heats, I’m certainly not hell bent on winning this week, but I think he can run a race finish in that top four and improve a few lengths if he can make the final.”
The Dyna Double One/Pauls Memory litter is one Hosking and his family won’t soon forget as one of the last moments of joy they shared with Hosking’s Granddad, well respected Queensland trainer Mick Emery.
“They look like a really promising litter and they’re always going to be special to us as it’s the last litter we bred before my Granddad Mick Emery passed away and he thought they were some of the best pups he’d ever bred,” Hosking said.
“Steve and Karen Tribe have a couple one of them, one has won eight or nine races Dynamite Daisy.
“I’ve got four in total; one yet to race, Power Point Diva who won her maiden at Ipswich of Saturday night, Waddling Witch and Columbian King.
“At this stage they’re doing everything right and we’ve got time on our side as well to get on top of any little issues.”
While Hosking was always involved in greyhound racing, it was his Granddad who laid the platform for the success he’s enjoying today.
“My Granddad set up the property here at Churchable and I came down from Darwin, with plans to stick around and help where I could and two years later, I’m still here,” Hosking said.
“I was juggling working and training dogs in Darwin and it was a full-on lifestyle, in retrospect I was probably looking for a change.
“I’ve had the opportunity down here to invest full time in greyhound racing and it makes the world of difference as I take care of the dogs, Mum takes care of the paperwork and my sister helps out with anything else.”
Hosking is one of the youngest trainers of the South-East Queensland scene and is happy to listen and learn from those who’ve been at it a lot longer.
“I know I’m only very young in the industry and try to soak up as much from the seasoned trainers as possible,” Hosking said.
“I did have connections in Brisbane before I made the move, in the main Tommy Tzouvelis and Mick Zammit who have both been big supporters.
“Everyone knew my Granddad as well and were keen to get to know me and happy I was continuing the family business.”
Like everyone else, Hosking is treading lightly in dangerous times for the sport and feels lucky to still be up and running.
“The changes put in place by the governing bodies are all necessary, we’re one of the lucky sports that’s still going and taking a few measures to ensure we keep going is warranted,” Hosking said.
“You’ve just got to hope everyone buys in because it’s a livelihood that we all rely on and I’m sure the community will come together.”