By Isaac Murphy
Brent Kline was at a crossroads a number of years ago when a head on motorcycle accident cut short his AFL career, but unlike many other athletes Kline had another passion to fall back on greyhounds and since making the move from Victoria to his Karalee property the trainer continues to kick goals in his new profession.
“About ten years ago I was playing professional AFL football in Victoria and I got into a syndicate with a bunch of guys I was playing with and bought a dog off David Croswell in Tasmania that turned out to be absolutely legless, his racing career looked done so I took him as a pet,” Kline said.
“I knew absolutely nothing about greyhound training, but I used to take him on my three-kilometre training runs with me, with what I know now is not a good way to get the best out of a dog.”
“Miraculously he ended up getting back to the track and running a couple of placings at the Meadows for me and that was it I’d caught the bug.”
It hadn’t taken much for Kline to take a shine to his new hobby employing a lot of lessons learned through footy into his greyhound training.
“When I got into full time training, I took a lot of my football expertise into what I did with my animals, training regiment, healthy diet keeping them injury free, recovery really treating them like an athlete,” he said.
“My first real breakthrough was with a dog called Benny The Kid who won a few races for me before he got a stopper bone injury, but I was well and truly hooked at this point.”
“Being from Victoria I was lucky enough to learn from George Dailly, Darren Murray and Jason Thompson down there I’d bounce a few questions off them and always look and see what the good trainers were doing.”
With his football career over Kline started a new chapter moving to his Karalee property with his partner and working as a property accessor, but it didn’t take long for dogs to once again become a big part of his life.
“When I first moved up I only owned shares in a few dogs, but once we settled in I thought why not give it another crack and I love nothing more than knocking off work and coming home to race of work the dogs,” Kline said.
“I had a few dogs but the breakthrough came with a bitch I got off Tony Apap Isla’s Style who was a giveaway and ended up winning the Molly Campbell Silver Dollars, racing in the Group Three Futurity down in Melbourne against the likes of Fanta Bale, Up Hill Jill and Striker Light, which was a huge thrill to have her in their company.”
“She’s been my best since I’ve been up here in Queensland and has had two litters one to Fernando Bale and another to Magic Sprite that are four months old and going great guns, from a giveaway to a Group dog to a brood bitch she’s been fantastic for me.”
Coming from the inner sanctum of a footy club Kline knew all about relationships and found himself entrenched as a trusted trainer in no time.
“When I got the phone call from Debbie Cannon and Ted Medhurst from Tasmania asking if I wanted to train a couple for them, I couldn’t say yes quick enough,” Kline said.
“The dogs they were sending me had gone through their grades in Tasmania, but still had plenty in the tank to come up here to Queensland and win some races.”
“We targeted the Bundaberg Cup with Miss Greer last year and came away with the trophy, that really cemented our partnership.”
Cannon and Medhurst run one of the largest operations in Tasmania and when the kennels are full Kline is more than happy to do the hard yards will the lesser types.
“They’re not all champions that come up, being a big kennel, I often get dogs like Recreational at the moment who’s missing a front toe and struggling to get around the circle at Albion Park, but the reward in getting them right is worth it,” Kline said.
“I’m more than happy to take them on and try to iron out a few issues because you get rewarded with dogs like Miss Greer who can win you some handy races.”
Kline is Bundaberg Cup bound with another Tasmanian bitch called Shilo who has shown flashes of ability in her short time at her new home.
“Shilo is the latest of the talented arrivals winning at Ipswich and Albion Park over the 520 metres, but I’m still just feeling her out looking for her pet distance, she’s raced over the shorts at 288 and the long at 600, I’m just trying to take my time with her,” Kline said.
“I don’t think she’ll break thirty at Albion Park, but she’ll get very close and that will win you a lot of races there.”
“I’ll definitely be taking Shilo along with Ricolino Girl to try to go back to back at the Bundaberg Cup.”
“I’ve just purchased a young bitch off Debbie Cannon called Logo who’s won five out of nine who I firmly believe will be a sub thirty dog at Albion and we might take her up for the sprint at Bundy.”