Paw Licking does us proud
HE may have missed out on a $75,000 jackpot but he is still the pride of the region's greyhound fraternity.
Paw Licking, owned by Stratheden's Allan Lang, was among the runners at Saturday night's 525m AGRA National Sprint Championships.
The two-year-old, who cut his teeth at Lismore and Casino, finished fourth in what was one of Victoria's biggest races of the year.
Lang, who watched the race at his packed house of excited family and friends, said he was delighted with his dog's progress.
"I'm proud of him," he said.
"I go to the dogs here and every other trainer is cheering him on.
"The phone never stops ringing when he wins a race.
"I think all the trainers work so hard, so when they see a good dog like this, they are happy."
A former record-breaker and star performer at the region's tracks, the dog, who has 20 wins from 32 starts, qualified for the race after winning an earlier heat.
Trained by Victoria's Kelvyn Greenough, Paw Licking was an enticing $5.40 shot for the race at The Meadows, but paid for a slow start and finished well behind winner Xylia Allen.
Lang, who has been nurturing greyhounds for about 20 years, oversaw the dog's initial progress before handing training duties on to Greenough.
The owner said watching the event, which was billed as one of Australian greyhound racing's biggest nights of the year, had been a real thrill.
"I was keeping calm, but there was a bit of cheering going on here," he said.
"I was hoping that he jumped well at the start. When he didn't I knew he didn't have much of a chance.
"It was still fantastic and very exciting to see him there. To run against some of the best dogs in Australia is not too bad."
"We knew he would be a good 'un when we were breaking him in and seeing his early times," Lang said.
"You are lucky if you get one like him. He's the best dog I've had by a long way."
Meanwhile, action continues at Lismore tonight.
Ten races are on the card and action starts at 6.41pm.
TURNER'S TIPS FOR LISMORE
Dashiki Trick (Box Three, Race Eight): Should be a class above this field and seems to have stamina for 635m.
Hot Bonus (Box Five, Race Six): Very consistent at the track over 420m in recent months.
Magic Diore (Box Six, Race Seven): Has raced and won at a higher level and is a regular podium finisher.