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Garrison giving horse trainer a fun ride into greyhound ownership

28 March 2024

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Garrison runs to the line in a recent Albion Park win.

By Pat McLeod

Grafton thoroughbred trainer Tony Newing’s growing fondness for greyhound racing may be about to get a massive cash boost, courtesy of his sometimes star, Garrison.

The Chris Brydon-trained chaser has posted the quickest time (track and distance) of all heat aspirants lining up on Saturday night for ‘round one’ of the $100,000-to-the-winner, Golden Chase over 520 metres.

The lucrative feature, for those dogs who went through the Ipswich Auction in 2022, has attracted seven heats, all dripping with quality.

Garrison, jumping from box eight in the third heat, is Newing’s only greyhound ownership interest, but he says he is already set to ‘up the ante’.

“I have always had a bit of an interest in greyhounds and had a couple of dogs a few years ago with some mates,” Newing explains.

“However that left me with a bit of sour taste, so we left them alone for a few years.

“I have a connection with (Churchable trainer) Chris Brydon through some horse racing friends at Coonamble.

“We met up at a Coonamble Cup meeting and I said to Chris: ‘Find us a dog and we will have a crack’."

Garrison Next Racing
Kia Kaha
Johnny Koala

That is how it all came about for Newing and Brydon.

"The right person to find us the right dog," Newing said. 

“I did hound Chris for a good six months, to find us a dog. He told me to be patient and he would let me know when the right one came along.

“And, he was true to his word. He gave us the pick of the litter that he had bought and we are doing alright.

“The experience so far has been very good and I've already indicated to Chris to up the ante and, if he wants, buy us a nice race dog. We will spend a bit of money on a nice dog.”

The ‘we’ is Garrison’s ownership team – Newing and good mates Mick and Kevin Williams.

Although his recent form has not been exceptional, the Tommy Shelby and Flying Yuna chaser gave the rookie owners plenty of confidence early.

He placed third at his first start, a 431 metre event at Ipswich, won his next start, over 520 metres at Albion Park and at his sixth start set a new mark for the novice record at Ipswich over 520 metres at 30.24 seconds.

So far, he has had 19 starts for four wins and seven placings.

However, he showed plenty of power to the line in finishing third in last Saturday’s Ipswich Rising Stars Final over 520 metres, behind Kia Kaha and Johnny Koala.



Ipswich | Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club | 6:22 PM

The Golden Chase H

Newing has followed the dog’s progress closely, even travelling to the track a few times.

“I haven't missed a thing with him,” he laughs.

“If I had a horse like him, he'd probably be gone because he is hit and miss, but he has got ability.

“I know that he has got the novice record at Ipswich, but unfortunately he just doesn't get out of the boxes. The three times that he has jumped he has run blistering times, every time.

“We have had discussions with Chris and he has explained how the dog will likely be better over a longer distance. And, I'm happy to be guided by Chris.

“We are certainly both looking forward to seeing him over 600 metres when the time is right. On Saturday night, we know the dog is good. We know he can gallop, but it all comes down to him getting out of the boxes.”

Newing said swapping hats as a trainer to an owner had been a good learning experience for him, however he says he has no intention of trying his hand at greyhound training.

“I am enjoying greyhound racing, but I don't think I can see the day when I would come across and try training greyhounds,” he said.

Garrison after a recent Albion Park win.

“I am all equine in that regard. I will stick to horses because I admit I sound like a dope when I am talking to Chris.

“I ask silly questions, but what that has done has helped me with my business. I get asked a lot of, what I considered silly questions. But, through the greyhound experience, it makes you respect the questions that you are asked.

“I know the ones that I have asked Chris are silly, but to me they are something I would like to know.”

Newing said he would probably be at Saturday night’s meeting.

“I have been to the track and watched him race a few times, at Ipswich and Capalaba, so will probably be there on Saturday night,” he said.

“I like going to the greyhound races, because when I normally go to the track most people know me as a trainer and you can't just relax and let your hair down. But, at the dogs, I can have a few beers, not go stupid, but just relax and enjoy it.”



Ipswich | Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club | 7:26 PM

Ipswich Rising Stars F