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Townsville win trumps Magic Millions success

By Isaac Murphy

Doctor George Clegg revelled in the biggest payday in Queensland racing history as a part owner of 2018 Magic Millions winner Pierata, but the doctor-turned-owner-turned-greyhound trainer has revealed Big Bad Bob’s win in the Townsville Cup on Tuesday night was his most emotional yet.

“It’s been very exciting Pierata, the excitement of winning the Magic Millions was extraordinary but I’ll tell you what last night was bloody close, it was the first time out of all the wins I’ve been really emotional, it was really really something," he said.

Clegg said he had hatched a plan in partnership with Townsville trainer Rob Lownes and was ecstatic to see it come to fruition.

“Rob Lownes and I hatched the plan to take him up there about six months ago and I really owe him for putting some polish on the dog while up there, but to see it all come together was great.”

Big Bad Bob overcame a wide box draw and tardy start to record what Clegg called the biggest win of his career the $25,000 Townsville Cup.

“This is the biggest win of his career, being a Group Three,” he said.

“He’s won a couple of heats and finals he won the John Stollery at Lismore on Cup night last year, where his run home time was faster than Jury’s and it won the Cup that night and he also won the Final of that Easter Cup at Albion coming from last to run down Joyce Rumble and It’s Dyllan in 29.69, that was only a couple of lengths outside the track record.”

“But this tops it, I always thought I could win a good race with him so that’s why we took him up there.”

Big Bad Bob carved a saloon passage through the field after his regular slow box manners, a habit Clegg said the dog had learned to overcome.

“I really thought Bob was a good chance with all that pace inside they were going to converge on that first corner and that’s exactly how it proved, seven and eight finished one two.” Clegg said.

“He just knows how to win, he’s generally slow out I’d say four out of five jumps he’s last so he’s used to it and has developed that track sense.”

“I took him down to Wentworth about two or three months ago and he went from last to first running away from them about three or four lengths.”

“He’s given us some very very exciting wins that’s for sure.”

Clegg had Big Bad Bob back at his Mudgeeraba base by Wednesday afternoon, the trainer already looking ahead to his sprinter’s next challenge.

“He’s pulled up well from last night so I’m going to take him next Tuesday to Lismore for the heats of the Million Dollar Chase and he loves Lismore, he’s one five or six races there, it’s probably his favourite track I think.”

“I’m thinking Casino Cup, Lismore Cup and Brisbane Cup as options he’s at that stage I’ve just got to give him a crack at them.”

George Clegg is having a huge year in racing in multiple disciplines but his journey to where he is today started with a single dog.

“My brother and I and a couple of mates bought a dog in 1968 and trained it ourselves and had a lot of fun with it and when it finished racing we all lost interest for a bit,” Clegg said.

“But my mother got the bitch Miss Silversun it was called and Bruce Edwards trained it and that litter won 110 races so we were right back into it.”

“Bob’s mother has got twelve pups nearly nine months to Thirty Talks and she’s being inseminated in the next couple of days with Dyna Double with Liz Brown down at Casino, so that’s looking promising as a group producer.”