Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club legend Keith Sternberg with family and friends. Picture: justgreyhoundphotos.com.au
Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club legend Keith Sternberg with family and friends. Picture: justgreyhoundphotos.com.au

Club icon still catching winners on his special night


Isaac Murphy

THERE aren't many people out there like Keith Sternberg.

The veteran dog man is well into his nineties, never misses a meet and is still the man to watch when it comes to catching a winner.

Keith's selfless nature doesn't go unnoticed in the tight-knit industry.

Last Saturday night, trainers and the Ipswich club came together to honour the man who always asks about others before himself.

Racing couple Warren and Tracey Nicholls were instrumental in organising the surprise, contacting family and friends alike who came along to spend a night doing what Keith loved watching the dogs.

After the initial surprise wore off, long-time friends and trainers Tony Zammit and Merv Page got up in front of the gathering to share a few memories they'd had with Keith over his decades in the industry.

After a few words, the family was left alone to enjoy the night with Sternberg.

Tracey Nicholls and others took care of his catching duties but in true Keith style nothing was going to stop him catching at least one winner.

He's shared a long-time association with Tony Brett and demanded he be let out to catch Hara's Clyde and Valentino Fox who finished first and second in their respective races on the night.

When asked why he and Tracey (Nicholls) organised the event, Warren Nicholls said he'd never met someone in the industry who was always so keen to give anyone a hand.

Sternberg's character was a breath of fresh air in the competitive industry and his contributions deserved to be acknowledged.

It's the old secret at Ipswich if you don't know who to have a bet on head down to the catching pen and find out who Keith's getting his hands on because no-one knows their dogs better.

Keith Sternberg with family and friends at his special being honoured at the Ipswich Showrounds. Picture: justgreyhoundphotos.com.au
Keith Sternberg with family and friends at his special being honoured at the Ipswich Showrounds. Picture: justgreyhoundphotos.com.au

Bundy Mundy's pay off for O'Reilly with Cup win

IT was only two weeks ago Yamanto trainer Peter O'Reilly was out of luck in the Ipswich Auction Series Final.

Favourite Flying Jet checked badly just when he was about to take control on the first corner.

The trainer got straight back to work with the gun two-year-old, who qualified for the Listed Bundaberg Cup Final the following Monday. Flying Jet strode away for an impressive win in the $25,000 final on Monday.

Jamie Hosking's track record holder Waddling Witch took up the running early and looked like she'd be hard to beat. However, the strong powerful Flying Jet pushed his way through on the rail and wasn't letting anything past him once he found the top, a much deserved listed triumph for the fifteen time winner.

O'Reilly unveiled another handy one on the October 1 card. Fernando Bale/Lucy Norris product Bailey was faultless on debut over the 288 metres dashing away by almost eight lengths in 16.97.

He trainer has taken his time getting the dog to the track. However, he was spot on for his initial assignment.

He is one to watch in upcoming sprint events.

Mrs Sing makes plenty of noise on return

TRICIA Fuller's bitch Mrs Sing blossomed into a serious racer last preparation with multiple Consistently running under the 30 second threshold, she was a serious prospect.

After a couple of months off the scene, the daughter of Thirty Talks looks to have come back as good as ever winning first up over the shorts at Albion in good time before qualifying for the fifth grade final over the 431 metres at Ipswich last Friday.

It was a one-act affair. Her box manners were at their brilliant best off the inside pinging to the front and racing away in a slick 24.9 clip.

The progeny of Thirty Talks like Mrs. Sing seem to develop a little later than some other breeds and she's certainly trending in the right direction.

It will be interesting to see where Fuller goes with the bitch who's shown she's capable over all sprint distances at Ipswich and could be headed towards and Ipswich Cup tilt next month.

Nandruku the new sprint king

WITH Brian Francis' short course star Double Return making the leap to the 500 metres, the title of best 288 metre dog at Ipswich was open for the taking.

It didn't take long for Neil Catchpole's flyer Nandruku to make himself the dog to beat.

The dog brought up his fifth win and track and trip on October 1, a feat in itself. However, it was the time he ran from box eight that looks like a potential track record could be on the cards.

The flyer was just .07 off Major Rose and Shian Diva's 16.58 track record. He took a few strides to muster from the wide draw but exploded onto the corner with a turn of foot not many in history have matched at the trip, eventually running away by nine lengths in 16.65.

He dog has down the majority of his racing up the straight at Capalaba but every time he's come to Ipswich he's either won or finished in the placings over the sprint and with a potential track record on the horizon expect Catchpole to stick around.

Burman's buzzing about latest litter

RAY and Mary Burman's brood bitch Bizarre Barbie has produced greyhounds the calibre of Ipswich 520 and 630 metre track record holder Champagne Sally and more recently Free for All machine Big Boy Bruce.

However, her latest pups to star sprinter Aston Dee Bee have just been let loose and they look like they have plenty of scope. Supreme Falcon won his maiden in a smart 25.25 last Saturday night.

The pup is only 18 months old. After leading for a long way over the 500 trip metres a fortnight ago, the Burman's dropped him back to the 431 metres and it did the trick straight to the top and running 11.50 home.

There are six pups out of the litter. From what the Burman's have seen at home, Supreme Falcon probably isn't the best of them.

Look for names like Big Boy Benji, Regal Rocky, Smart Lilly, Elegant Ruby and Happy Hornet snapping up maidens and novices over the next month.

Greyhound racing at the Ipswich track.
Greyhound racing at the Ipswich track.

Saturday night specials

LAST Saturday's card produced a couple of cracking 525m contests.

The Fifth Grade Final between Hara's Clyde and Regal Opal was just as riveting as the Mix Third/Fourth Grade race between Frieda Las Vegas and Valentino Fox.

It was a contrast of styles in both races Hara's Clyde the powerful closer having to chase down Regal Opal early speed and noted backmarker Frieda Las Vegas finding a way from last to win again.

Regal Opal led comfortably in the Grade Five final. However, with $1.40 chance Hara's Clyde mustering quickly to second it looked like it might be a soft win for the favourite.

It wasn't the case as Greg Stella's bitch dug in running a valiant second by under a length to Tony Brett's flyer.

Frieda Las vegas looked in all sorts of trouble out of the boxes dropping to last on the fence at the first corner. But in trademark style, she was on Valentino Fox's back pushing for the lead.

It looked like she would blow right by but much like Regal Opal Valentino Fox wasn't giving up without a fight going down a nose to Tony Zammit's bitch.

All four should be in the running come Ipswich Cup time.