Anarchy runs at Lismore
By Adam Hicks
LOCAL greyhound Anarchy will start sentimental favourite in tonight's $32,000 Lismore Workers Club Cup Final (520m) at the Lismore Greyhound track, Colemans Point.
The last big runner of former trainer June James, Anarchy's start in the region's richest race is tinged with sadness.
June won't see him run.
Bentley trainer Marilyn Johnson was with June when she died this winter.
The long-term racing friends had travelled to Darwin in June and planned to drive a motorhome back to the Northern Rivers.
"June wanted to come along for the ride," Johnson said.
"On the very first night in Darwin, June had a massive stroke ... she never regained consciousness."
Johnson returned home and took over Anarchy's preparations on request of the dog's owner and June's racing partner, Patricia Blore.
Ms Blore, of Elengowan, said she was so devastated by the loss of her best friend and housemate of 30 years that she couldn't handle the dog.
"After June died, he was too much for me to look after," she said.
"She was that excited about going away. She hadn't had a holiday in 30 years. With her the dogs came first and that was it."
In the three months since his move to Bentley, Anarchy has won four races, placed twice, and risen from fifth grade to first grade in his last seven starts.
"June always said he was going to be a very good dog, unfortunately she never lived to see it," Ms Blore said.
Johnson said Anarchy's run in the final would be emotional for those who knew June well, particularly for Ms Blore.
"It would be a fairytale if he could win," she said.
"It's very sad. They'd shared a house ... were best friends for all those years, then June went on a holiday and never came back."
Ms Blore said Anarchy's qualification in the race was bitter sweet.
"It will be nice to see him in the final but I'm sorry June won't be there," she said.
Anarchy is one of the least-experienced in the group two race and both women said it would be interesting to see how he ran.
Ms Blore said it would be a tough task for the two-year-old and she wasn't expecting anything.
"It's a pretty hard race ... his first time in grade. He has very little experience but just keeps on getting better," she said.
Johnson said she was hoping Anarchy could run a place.
"He's always been a classy dog and he's started to perform well," she said. "He's just coming into his peak."