Champion Queensland trainer Tony Brett stole the show at the 2017 Queensland Greyhound of the Year Awards in Brisbane on Friday, entering the Queensland Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame and winning the major award thanks to the efforts of dual Group 1-winner Fast Times.
Fast Times, owned by former rugby league great Terry Hill, was a revelation for the Brett kennel in 2017.
The son of Barcia Bale won both the Group 1 Garrard’s Winter Cup and Group 1 Sky Racing Brisbane Cup – both over 520m – placed second in the Richmond Riches race series in New South Wales, and appeared as a finalist in the Group 1 Maturity Classic in Melbourne, and the Group 2 Queensland Derby.
It was the fourth time a Brett-trained greyhound has claimed Queensland Greyhound Racing’s most coveted award in the past five years, after previous successes with Glen Gallon, Flash Reality and last year’s winner, Thirty Talks.
It was these achievements, which contributed to the Grandchester trainer’s induction into the Hall of Fame.
Brett has become a household name in Australian racing circles across the past decade, with a star honour roll including chasers such as Bogie Leigh, Queen Lauryn, Black Enforcer, and the aforementioned Glen Gallon and Thirty Talks.
Also inducted was former race broadcaster and administrator Mick Cox, who called the inaugural greyhound meeting at the ‘Gabba in 1972, and was synonymous with greyhound racing in Queensland for many years.
Ipswich Cup-winning greyhound and successful stud dog Acacia Ablaze, as well as John Reimers star bitch Miss Perlita joined Brett and Cox in the Hall of Fame.
Townsville trainer Rhonda Essery was the recipient of the Women In Racing Award for her training efforts in the far north, while Brodie Prater won the Young Achiever of the Year Award.
The celebration brought together participants from each of Queensland’s seven greyhound racing clubs to crown their star performers at the Kedron Wavell Services Club, and provided an opportunity to reflect on a memorable year of racing.
2017 Queensland Greyhound of the Year Award winners
Greyhound of the Year - Fast Times
Brisbane Greyhound of the Year - Cyndie's Magic
Darryl and Maree Heck Trainer's Strike-Rate Award - Craig Chandler
Brisbane Sire of the Year - Fabregas
Brisbane Dam of the Year - Regal Silver
Metropolitan Trainer of the Year - Bill Elson
Brisbane Leading Owner - Cynthia Elson
Top Simbi Award - 2017 UBET Nationals
Young Achiever Award - Brodie Prater
Women In Racing Award - Rhonda Essery
Hall of Fame Inductees
- Mick Cox
- Miss Perlita
- Acacia Ablaze
- Tony Brett