Late starter proves winner
KIM Gooding may have been late starter in greyhounds, but you won't find anyone who can beat her for enthusiasm.
The Bentley trainer will be hoping for another win when her charge Kulu Mystery runs in the $2015 420m Northern Rivers Vet Stakes at Lismore tonight.
Gooding only got into dogs about a decade ago after meeting partner and experienced owner/trainer John Clarson.
It proved an unusual career change for the 60-year-old, who admitted greyhound training would have been the last thing on her mind in her younger years.
"I would have laughed and said, 'you must be joking'," she said.
"When I started winning a few races I thought, 'wow - this is good'.
"I suppose I find it quite challenging to get a dog to run to the best of their ability.
"It has its challenges, but it can be very enjoyable as well."
Gooding said her partner's expertise in the industry had proved handy.
"He can always provide a bit of advice when it is needed," she said.
"I suppose I was quite wary of the greyhounds at first, but I have found they are really easy to train in some ways.
"I don't consider myself to be a 'professional' trainer. I guess it's more of a hobby for me.
"I suppose I enjoy the competition, the socialising and that side of life."
Gooding's charge has a respectable five wins and six placings from 20 starts and has a decent record at the Colemans Point track.
The two-year-old bitch will start from box four and has her work cut out, with handy runners Hot Bonus and Mr Babicci among a useful field.
"When I saw Mr Babicci in the field, I did think 'oh gosh, this is going to be tough'," she said.
"She has beaten him before, but that's where I'm expecting the danger to come from.
"If she can jump out in front she has a chance as he will have to run her down.
"I can't say I'm too confident, but I'd back her for a place."
Ten races are on the card and action starts at 6.43pm.
TURNER'S TIPS FOR LISMORE
Mr Babicci (box three, race seven): Formidable record and should be a class over this field.
Miner's Moss (box two, race eight): Has picked up form in recent weeks and should be tough to stop.
My Boy Blue (box two, race six): Fair record at Lismore and has raced in better company.