Outsider rides his luck
DUFFY took his record to 11 wins and 17 placings from 45 starts by taking out the $40,000 Lismore Workers Club Cup Final (520m) on Tuesday night but only a few months ago it appeared the greyhound's racing career may have been over.
"He cracked a small bone in his off-side leg and it took months to heal," Duffy's Tugun-based trainer Maurice McArdle said yesterday.
"When he came back into training he hurt it again.
"I thought he could have been finished."
Duffy (Surf Lorian-Joy Esme) sat outside the leader Aretha Trick throughout the race only to grab her by a neck on the line and win in 30.50 seconds with another half length back to Wizz Bang in third.
McArdle admitted a bit of luck helped his victory chances after his $21.90 outsider edged out the $3.20favourite, Ettrick bitch Aretha Trick.
"The number five (Marshall Star) and number six (Spring Ferrari) dogs crashed into the number four dog (Bogie Beltah)," he said.
"Then my dog got Aretha Trick on the line.
"Prior to the race I would have been happy with a place but I received a bit of luck."
After the dog's injury troubles, Duffy got back to the track in time to get enough racing into him to be fit for the Gold Cup series before scoring at Colemans Point in Lismore on Tuesday night.
McArdle won the Darwin and Cairns cups a decade ago with Wild Chaos, but he said the Lismore Cup was a much greater thrill.
"I'm never one to be short of words, but this has left me speechless," he said.
"It's our biggest thrill in greyhound racing because it was at a track where we feel so much at home."
Duffy, a noted strong finisher, loomed up on the outside of Aretha Trick in the back straight and looked likely to run away and win easily.
But the favourite had a kick in her and she held her ground at the home turn only to be run down right on the line.
While McArdle had some luck, the trainer of Aretha Trick, Daryl Schafer, was left wondering when his next dose of good fortune would arrive.
"That's the third major meet after the Young Guns and Flying Amy Classic at Albion Park where she's come second," Schafer said.
"Hopefully it'll be fourth time lucky next time because it's very capable of a big win."