By Isaac Murphy
You won’t see a better field of young dogs than in this Thursday’s Molly Campbell Silver Dollars Final.
The time-honoured race pays tribute to the late Molly Campbell, the woman who founded the Queensland Form Guide and championed greyhound racing for decades. The family legacy is carried on by granddaughter Susan Harris, an active trainer.
The race takes of even more weight for the proud greyhound family this year after the passing of Molly’s son and Susan’s father Billy Harris earlier this year. The bumper field be-fitting of the family’s contribution to the industry.
Steve Scott’s Farmor Fearsome is arguably the race’s most inform dog, aiming for six on end this Thursday night. The trainer is wary of a field choc full of talent but says the 29.91 heat winner is ready to go.
“We gave him another conditioning run at Capalaba on Sunday, which should stand him in really good stead for a tough race on Thursday night,” Scott said.
“He got knocked about early, was pressured the whole way up the straight and still powered through the line. Thursday is going to be a big ask, but we couldn’t have him more ready.”
Such has been his form, Scott has had no problems racing the dog twice a week over the 520, but a little freshen up for last weeks heats saw him rattle off his best win yet.
“We decided to give him the week off leading into the Molly Campbell Heats and he’s gone out and broken thirty for the first time (29.91). I went with my gut feeling. I think I know the dog and when he wants to race,” Scott said.
“He’s improving every start which is the exciting part. His 12.80 run home last week was also his quickest to date and if he can find that early speed strength blend, he’s going to be tough to roll.”
“His best asset is his box speed and he’s going to need to be out in front making his own luck, because no dog in that field can run 29.60 as No Easy Beat did last week but give us a few lengths and who knows.”
At twenty-five months Farmor Fearsome has won an impressive ten of his seventeen race starts, but Scott is under no illusion he’ll be up against it with a field of future rivals vying for the Silver Collar.
“It’s his biggest test yet. There’s class all through that field, some trainers might wrap a young dog like this up and steer away from these races, but he’s riding a wave at the moment and deserves a chance,” Scott said.
“All these dogs were going to run into each other sooner rather than later being all of the same age and above average ability and I certainly class mine as above average as well.”
“I think with races like this it plays into the hands of dogs with races under their belt, because their seasoned hard campaigners and the way he’s been racing hopefully we’re in that category.”
Scott is trying to not look beyond tomorrow night but admitted the announcement of the new Golden Greys Summer Carnival peaked his interest with a few suitable races.
“I was rapt with the announcement of the Summer Carnival series. If he’s still showing us improvement, I won’t hesitate to throw him in races like the Derby, Golden Ticket and even the Gold Bullion,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to have races like that available at home, it saves us the travel and puts us right up there with the rival states in terms of prize money.”
The second-generation trainer has been on a tear of late but was quick to give credit to his family who continue to produce quality litters under the Farmor name.
“Every one of the Farmor dogs stem from Mum and Dad’s line, they come through me first where we rare them at the farm, break them in pre-train them and see how they shake out,” Scott said.
“This particular litter Magic Sprite and Farmor Too Cee has produced, Farmor Fearless, Farmor Fear This and Farmor Fearsome. All have shown potential. Fear This won the 331-metre short course final a couple of months ago and Fearless is progressing.”
“The dam didn’t do much in her racing career, but the family have been breeding for a long time and take a lot of pride in producing winners.”
Scott admitted he was enjoying riding the wave of success but wasn’t going out splashing cash rather using it to enhance his thriving kennel at his Churchable property.
“The kennel is in a bit of a purple patch at the moment. Everything that we put in seems to be going around well and it’s a good thing because everything we earn goes back into the property and improving the facilities for the dogs,” he said.
“When we bought the place there was a house but nothing to do with greyhounds, so we’ve had to build it from the ground up, the kennel, yard, a straight and every win helps fund the next project.”
“We think we’ve got a nice balance between having plenty of dogs, but not being too big to forget about what each of them needs.”