Crook steals home in cup - Molly Haines

November 09, 2017

There was action aplenty at Shepparton greyhounds track on Saturday night.

A group of mates were successful with Crook Me Kindly in the Northern Districts Cup at Shepparton greyhounds on Saturday.

The Peckerheads Syndicate is on cloud nine after its bargain buy returned them $25000 in a matter of 25.27sec in the 450m race.

After the group of nine mates from the Wodonga ran a successful punters’ club last year, they decided to register as greyhound owners and form the Peckerheads.

They put their earnings together and, upon following advice from a family friend, Nathalia greyhound trainer Michael Ellis, they headed to Greyhound Racing Victoria’s annual Ready 2 Race Sales at Bendigo last November.

‘‘We had been talking about buying a greyhound for a while. We first considered a horse, but quickly decided a greyhound would be a better option,’’ syndicate manager Jordan Thorneycroft said.

‘‘Michael told us that before purchasing a greyhound to race we needed to have a plan in place for the dog’s life after racing, and we were fortunate that one of our syndicate members’ mother-in-law agreed to adopt our greyhound once its racing career was over.”

The Ready 2 Race Sales is filled with young, unraced greyhounds who compete twice in small fields over 425m before going to auction.

After initially heading to the auction hoping to purchase a dog who could break the 24sec barrier, budget limitations forced them to rethink their strategy.

‘‘We had picked out about five greyhounds who had broken 24 seconds that we planned to bid for, but those dogs sold for prices above our budget,’’ Thorneycroft said.

That is when Crook Me Kindly, or ‘‘Sam’’ as he was known throughout the R2R Sales, came into their calculations.

Just 20 months of age at the time, Sam won both his Ready 2 Race heat and final in the modest times of 24.44 and 24.67 respectively.

The Peckerheads Syndicate purchased the Colin Burton-bred son of Barcia Bale and Sprite Lee for the bargain price of $3500 and gave him to Ellis to train and got him named.

Crook Me Kindly made his debut two months after the sales, at Bendigo in January, a race he won in 24.74sec.

Ellis continued to train Crook Me Kindly up until August, when the greyhound was transferred to Lara’s Jessica Sharp to train.

He has raced a total of 25 times for seven wins, six minor placings and $32525 in prizemoney.

The syndicate has already forged many long-lasting memories through its purchase of Crook Me Kindly and now has the prized Northern Districts Cup trophy in its keeping.

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