By Jordan Gerrans
Premier Queensland trainer Tony Brett would not quite call himself a “history buff” but there is no doubt he respects and will often look back on those that came before in him in the greyhound code.
And, while, the respected conditioner has won bigger races earlier in his career for larger prize money with higher Group status – his B.G.R.C. 50th Anniversary Trophy Final triumph on Thursday night was a special one for the trainer.
To celebrate 50 years of greyhound racing, the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club hosted a showcase anniversary event on Thursday evening.
The gala night celebrated the legacy of greyhound racing in Queensland, which commenced at The Gabba Greyhound Racing Club in 1972 to 1993, before crossing to the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club from 1993 until today.
Brett remembers his late father Dave travelling down from Mackay – where he was president of the local club - all those years ago to race his team at the Gabba, before making the long drive back the next morning.
Dave did that for a few years – driving down sometimes every week or at least every fortnight – before eventually relocating to South East Queensland to throw his hat in the ring against the leading trainers of the time.
So, for Brett to claim the Group 3 Anniversary Trophy Final on Thursday night with Just A Sort, he was a proud man.
‘The heritage and history goes back a long way and I still have race books from the time my dad won the Cup in Mackay and things from the Gabba and old race books and magazines – like we have the Chase magazine these days,” Brett said.
“Every now and again you pull them out as they are so interesting to read, just the history and the different dogs.
“I was looking at old photos from the Gabba on Thursday night at the track when people were leaning over the fence to watch the races in those days.
“To be part of folklore now with an anniversary race is special.
“Mackay, Albion Park and Gabba – they are places that have been great to our family.”
Brett thinks the atmosphere on Thursday night was a little like the old famous Gabba days, with a big and loud crowd in attendance to celebrate the historic milestone.
From the seven alley, Brett’s Just A Sort shot himself out of the boxes and led from start to finish in a strong performance in a 29.93 seconds.
Raced by the Chupa's Racing Syndicate, the ownership group of the dog were pleased to see him back to his best after a lean run since the start of the year.
“To win such an important race on the club’s calendar with all the history, it was great,” Steve Beck, who manages the syndicate, said.
“It is good to see him back to form, it is very pleasing.”
Just A Sort delivered Brett a fourth Queensland Derby late last year but since that blistering performance at Group 2 level, the kennel have not seen the best of their gun chaser.