Stage set for Beauty to shine
MOTHERS-in-law sometimes get a bad rap but you will not find Lee Wylie complaining ahead of Friday night's Group 2 Lismore Workers Club Cup (520m).
Condong trainer Wylie has fastest heat qualifier Birkdale Beauty jumping from box eight in the $40,000-to-the-winner race, one of the biggest of the year in NSW.
The sprinter, who has a superb record at Lismore, has drawn "perfectly" in box eight for the final, the latest leg of the prestigious Thank Dog It's Friday racing series.
Wylie's mother-in-law Robyn McCalman picked that box in the post-heats draw, leaving the trainer, who has had plenty of notable greyhounds over the years but has found a Group win elusive, a happy man.
"I gave her a big kiss afterwards," Wylie said.
"I've been in plenty of big races but the Group win has eluded me.
"I'm a super-competitive person - I love winning - and it would be great to win a Group race like this."
Birkdale Beauty was a distant $37 shot for her heat but produced a superb 30.18 run to defeat a tough field.
That win took her overall record to a solid 13 wins and 15 placings from 37 outings.
This would be a first Group win for Wylie but he has been involved in several finals, most recently with Birkdale Beauty in the Group 3 Charcoal Inn Casino Cup.
With eight wins at Lismore to her name and a favourable box draw, the sprinter could be tough to stop in the final.
"I wanted anything from five to eight," Wylie, a familiar face at North Coast tracks, said. "There is a lot of pace inside her (but) she can keep out of trouble there.
"Lismore is the backyard for my dogs whereas it's not easy for other dogs to come here unfamiliar and win.
"It's an open race (but) I cannot ask for any more from her."
Part-time trainer Wylie, who has been training greyhounds for about 15 years and is also an owner and breeder, has an interesting background. He works as a chef and is assisted with his greyhounds by assorted family members, including his three young children.
"It is a family affair," the 46-year-old said. "I've great support from my family.
"My kids chip in helping after school and, if they don't have school in the morning, they are always asking if they can come to the races.
"Sometimes I wonder how we manage it all, but we love our animals and we love our racing."
Thank Dog It's Friday
THE Lismore Workers Club Cup is the latest leg of Greyhound Racing NSW's Thank Dog It's Friday racing series which showcases the best regional racing NSW has to offer in a primetime Friday night slot.
As part of the series, seven provincial tracks will stage their feature race meeting heats and finals on a Friday night.
A special VIP DogHouse section, featuring free food and drink for ticket holders, will be on offer at Lismore.
For more information, including the chance to win VIP tickets for Friday's race meeting, visit http://www.thedogs.com.au or Greyhound Racing NSW's Facebook page.