Normally, winning your third straight Canberra Cup would be a happy occasion, but the prospect greyhound trainer Jodie Lord had won her fourth and possibly her last one was really sad.
Based at Gunning, Lord said her children had grown up at the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club, which also played a large role in her business life as a professional trainer.
She’s had a lot of success at the Symonston track over the years, highlighted by the fact she trained six of the 10 runners in the 38th and potentially final running of the Canberra Cup on Sunday.
One of those was Champion Model, who jumped well out of the boxes and fought off an early challenge from another one of Lord’s dogs in Bombshell Bandit to streak away for a comfortable win in a time of 30.25 seconds for the 530-metre race.
Bombshell Bandit looked like she might make it a Lord quinella, but a fast-finishing Hukanui split the pair to relegate her to third.
For Lord, the prospect of that being the last Canberra Cup was a sad one, albeit after she’d won the last three – either as a trainer or an owner.
She has about 200 dogs on her property, which they use for training and breeding.
Canberra’s her closest track and where she gets a lot of her income from, making the potential closing a double whammy – both financially and sentimentally.
“It’s really sad. This is our local track so we come here all the time, every week. It’s really sad for us because we’ve got a big property out in Gunning and we have a lot of dogs, so this is our home track,” Lord said.
“Let’s hope we don’t close down, it’s too good a track, it’s been here for so long, we’ve come here for so many years – my kids were raised here really. It’s a very sad thing.”
She was full of praise for Champion Model’s race and said she’d now head to the group 1 Dapto Megastar on September 28.
Second-placed Hukanui’s trained by South Australian Tony Rasmussen, who also had another dog in the Cup, which meant between him and Lord they made up 80 per cent of the race.
Next month’s Adelaide Cup at Angle Park is the next target for Hukanui.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better result. It was a very strong race, the dog that came second was a very strong dog so she did well to hold him off,” Lord said.
Canberra chairman Alan Tutt said the club would continue to fight for their existence against the ACT government’s impending ban, which could come into effect June 30 next year.
But if they were unsuccessful, Tutt predicted they’d be the first of three heads on the government’s chopping block, with harness and thoroughbred racing the next to come under pressure.
The club could potentially move to Queanbeyan, but Tutt said that would be a “very sad” day.
“This is all about a political agenda, based on some people in the Greens who are anti-animal racing, who are prepared to hang their hat on closing the greyhound industry in the ACT and it’s the first of many in the future,” he said.
“At the end of the day [the trots and thoroughbreds] are certainly on the agenda.”