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Sullivan hits the jackpot with a perfect pair

By Isaac Murphy

It’s been quite a journey for Peter Sullivan, and the one-time Central Queenslander has gone from the goat works to being one of South-East Queensland’s up-and-coming trainers.

He’s aided by potential superstars Pokie Payout and Brother Jason, who are flying ahead of their Ipswich Young Guns and Group 1 Launching Pad campaigns, and Sullivan is still pinching himself having got to this point.

“I’ve been in the game for 12 years, I came down on a two-week holiday from Charleville and met my partner Felicia Guymer and her father Terry Guymer, bought my first dog with them for $600 and never left, “Sullivan laughed.

“Before I arrived, I’d spent 10 years at the goat works in Charleville and once I got into the greyhound industry I wasn’t going back.

“I owe everything to Felicia and Terry, I probably never would have got into dogs without them and to this day we still work as a tandem, it might be my name down as trainer but it’s a group effort.”

Pokie Payout looked like she would play second fiddle to Brother Jason early days, but she’s come on in leaps and bounds, stunning everyone including her trainer with a stunning run in Saturday night’s Ipswich Young Guns heats.

“She shocked me with the time (30.16), her run-homes have been improving every run but the difference Saturday was her ability to get out and lead, she was able to burn the candle at both ends,” Sullivan said.

“The heat panned out nicely for her from the jump, Cash Stack in the two is slow out and Little Byrnes in the six wasn’t able to get across and contest the lead, the Final will be tougher though.

“For a bitch that’s still only a one-year-old you expect the odd off run, but it just hasn’t come with her every time I turn her out, she’s just getting better.”

Races

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Ipswich | Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club | 7:10 PM

Ipswich Young Guns H

The bitch celebrates her second birthday next month and would love to nab her first feature series in a race she’s now favourite for this Saturday night.

“A couple of months ago we probably wouldn’t have considered a race like the Ipswich Young Guns, but we didn’t expect her to win four of her last seven either - the timing was spot on in the end,” Sullivan said.

“I would have preferred her drawn the one or the two for the Final seeing the way she came out and her winning record from those draws, but if she jumps like she did last week I don’t think it’s going to matter.

“You don’t want to write off anyone in a final, but I’d say the ones we have to worry about are Cash Stack with his run home, Werina Express with early pace and Nando Dreamer who ran a huge race fresh last week - but I like our chances.”

Before her most recent run, Pokie Payout was winning her races running on from midfield; the 600 looks inevitable for her, but she has business to handle over the sprint first.

“Everyone keeps telling me to get her up over 600 and in time that’s definitely something I’ll do, but at her age it’s just too early,” Sullivan said.

“Not only that, we don’t want to miss out on any of the age races, hopefully we can win Saturday night and then press on to races like the Flying Amy which she’ll still be a relatively young bitch for.

“Between Albion Park and Ipswich, she’s still got plenty of grades to pick off and that’s what we’ll go back to following Saturday night.”

Pokie Payout
Brother Jason

The bitch is out of Lightning Frank and Adelaide Bale - a scarce combination in Queensland - but the line looks a perfect mix of speed and strength.

“It’s amazing we’re talking about her as a future 600-metre bitch given her sire Lightning Frank could just run out the 500, not many of his offspring have made it past the short course,” Sullivan said.

“The strength must come from her mother Adelaide Bale’s side, that line have won some good races over distance.

“A good mate of mine Jason Pashley bought her and brought her to me to rear and train, I’m getting a lot of enjoyment seeing him rapt with the way she’s going as well.”

Brother Jason was unfairly hyped as Queensland’s next superstar before his first start where he was wayward in the Dave Brett, before spending a couple of months on the sidelines.

However, he’s bounced back to claim four wins from six starts and is building up to a Group 1 Launching Pad tilt.

“I’ve sent Brother Jason down to Melbourne for a crack at The Launching Pad, he trialled well at Sandown and looks like he’s on track for the heats coming up Thursday week,” Sullivan said.

“I’ve got plenty of offers to keep him in Victoria after the Launching Pad, but I made the decision early on I was never going to sell him, he’s the best dog I’ve ever had so he’ll be coming home after the series.

“Having bred him myself (Worm Burner/Magic Kitchen) I think it makes you even more invested, I know I’ve got a great opportunity to make a name for myself and the dog.”